It’s time to retire my touring shirt. After this last outing, it developed some severe ventilation openings around the back of the shoulders. I have to say that it was extremely comfortable when the temps crept up into the ’90’s and I would pour water down my back.
The problem, however, is that there is a thin line between the well-seasoned bike tourist look and that of a hobo. Almost as thin as the fabric that remains on my shirt.
As far as I can tell, it had been a blue Dickies work shirt, long sleeve, 100% cotton. I had it for years, and began wearing it for biking well before Grant Petersen started the whole seersucker craze. The long sleeves came in handy for preventing sunburn, and the pockets were handy for just about everything. The collar, while adding a touch of class, helped keep my neck covered.
After many years of service and hundreds of washings, including in creeks and random water spigots, it had turned all but white, with a subtle hint of blue, except for the armpits, which are and will always remain a distinct aqua/green.
I’m going to look for a suitable replacement, probably at one of those farm stores. They seem to know what good quality work clothes need to be.
In the meanwhile, after a socially acceptable period of mourning, my old touring shirt will go in the rag bin that I use for cleaning my bikes. Perhaps I’ll even cut it up into little squares that I use for lubing my chains.
It’s been a good run, but all things must pass.