Long time Terry customer, Jodi Smee, shares some great tips on beating the heat, and reveals a veritable museum of Terry cycling tops.
We were delighted when Jodi reached out recently to let us know about her extensive collection of Terry bike clothing. Even better, she’s a very interesting lady with great stories to tell. She kindly agreed to share our conversation, so you can meet her too…
Jodi – It’s 112° here in the “lovely” (NOT!) Phoenix, Arizona area, so since I can’t go outside for too long (don’t worry, I rode my bicycle at 5 a.m. when it was only 90°), I was looking in my closet and realized that the part of it that has my Terry clothing is like a trip through time. So, I pulled it all out, laid it on various pieces of furniture, and took photos because I thought you might enjoy seeing all the things that I have loved, worn, and appreciated over the years.
Most of it is still worn on occasion, but the newer things are the ones I wear regularly. Missing is my favorite pair of tights, my Echelon tights, that I wore on the ride this morning, and the only thing I will ever wear in this extreme heat. They are wonderful!! I wore my QOM jersey from last year with them, and that is also missing from these images. They are drying after being washed immediately. I am sure there are a few other items missing as well, but these are most of what I have.
Thanks for the info about the technical aspects of producing the garments. I sew garments for myself and it is far more complicated than a lot of people realize. The fact that you are taking a two dimensional object (fabric) and turning it into a three dimensional one (finished garment) is sometimes complicated enough, but trying to mass produce it and have all the prints match up at the seams “seems” almost impossible! I try to stick to solids! 🙂 But I am only sewing for myself, and my most complicated garments are Renaissance dresses to wear to the local Renaissance Festival once a year. Working with stretchy knits also can be challenging. [See more on how Terry gear is designed here.]
Terry Bikes – You mentioned your favorite Echelon tights for riding in the heat. Do you have a favorite top for the heat?
The Soleil tops are favorites, and also the Sunblockers. I have three Sunblocker tops that have to be 10-15 years old. I don’t wear them as much, but I have been a fan of them for a long time.
I also ride motorcycles and I sometimes wear my Terry jerseys under my motorcycle gear. I do ride all year.
T.B. – How about the cold – does it ever get wintry where you ride? What are your favorite pieces then?
It hardly ever gets cold enough to worry about here, but when it does, I just put on more layers. One of those layers is a lovely SmartWool jersey I got a few years ago. I also take that jersey with me on motorcycle trips because when we ride high mountain passes, it gets very cold! Layers are the key to comfortable riding on both bicycles and motorcycles.
T.B. – When did you discover Terry, and what led you to try our clothing? What kinds of things do you look for when choosing new pieces?
I started riding bicycles on long distance rides in 1995. I have been buying Terry products since the late 90s when I started competing in mountain bike races. I raced for five years, from 1997 to 2002. I think I started buying Terry products because I saw them either at a store or online, thought they were nice designs, and I have continued to buy Terry products because of the quality, how well they work on the bicycle, and the variety.
T.B. – What are your all time favorite prints? And jersey models (I’m guessing Soleil, but…?)
The “blue peacock” print a few years ago on the Strada top is my favorite print. I waited too long to buy it and had to get a large instead of a medium, but I modified it so I could wear it anyway. I have learned to not “wait for it to go on sale” to buy products that I like because chances are that other people like the garments just as well as I do and then they sell out.
The Soleil jerseys are great for me, and the Sunblockers before that. In this climate, I would never buy a Sun Goddess jersey, even though they are pretty, because I want the sun OFF my body! It’s different where people have a long winter to suffer through and then they want sun! I hate it, personally, and want to move to a place where there are four seasons and it’s cloudy most of the time.
T.B. – What type of riding do you like to do and where?
I used to do longer, organized road rides, and I also raced mountain bikes. But now I mostly ride for fitness (and fun, of course). My most recent “challenge” was a ride in the White Mountains of Arizona. I started at around 8,000 feet in elevation, and the road undulated, losing and gaining the “same” 500 feet for 20 miles. Then the last couple of miles the road gained the 1,000 feet to the destination. Then I had to do the same thing on the way back, but it was somewhat downhill. I hadn’t really trained a lot for it, and I was riding an old Cannondale that never fit me properly (I’m only 5’2” and petite, so it’s difficult to find anything to fit me). But I did it, and I didn’t stop. I ate a Clif bar at the turn-around point, but that’s it. I have since gotten a new bike that fits me, a Specialized Amira, but I still can’t believe I actually did that. The people in the small town at the beginning of the ride were shaking their heads as I left, and were amazed when I came back on my bike and not in an ambulance. LOL. I wasn’t fast, but I made it. I would like to try it again on my Amira and then compare the two experiences.
Any other favorite tips for riding in the heat?
Riding in the heat can be dangerous. In the summer, I have to be out riding by 5 or 6 a.m. at the latest, and back by 8 or 9 a.m. at the latest. Otherwise, it is impossible to stay hydrated. I also wear the long Echelon tights, which are the best thing ever, and long sleeve light jerseys, like the Soleil. I do not want the sun on my skin. I feel like my skin is on fire if it is uncovered. If I wear short sleeves, I wear “sun sleeves,” most of which I made myself (because I had to have sparkles on them!). The days that are the worst are the ones that exceed 110°F. Around 112, it becomes unbearable to be outside at all, much less try to do anything physical. If I miss my riding window, I have to go to the gym.
Read some tips about beating the heat here: Hot Weather Cycling Tips.