Commuting in a suit?
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Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3115
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:57 pm quote
This coming Monday I will begin commuting 20km each way to work on my LX 150 and I really need some advice. The entire ride will be on streets where the posted speed limit is from 30 kph to 70 kph (roughly 20 mph to 40 mph).

I work in an office and must wear a suit.

Here's my plan so far.

If it's not raining, no problem. My suit jacket fits in the Vespa OEM top case. I plan to get a bungee net tomorrow and use it to secure my laptop shoulder bag to the back seat.

I'll be wearing a Corazzo 5.0 armored jacket over a shirt and tie, a Nolan N102 full face convertible (flip-up) helmet, leather gloves, my suit pants and dress shoes.

I'll be parking the scooter during the work day in a secure underground parking garage.

When I get to the office, I'll put on my suit jacket and stow the Corazzo in the top case. I checked and it just fits. I'll either hang the helmet on the bag hook and lock it to the bike with a sturdy cable using the loop under the floorboard, or bring it up to the office.

The part I haven't figured out is what to do for rain.

Tomorrow I am going to buy a rain suit that I will keep in the pet carrier at all times. When it rains, I'll wear the rain suit over the Corazzo.

For the laptop bag, I plan to find a rain cover, most likely at a travel or camping store.

What I am wondering is, what my strategy should be when I get into the garage at the office, dry underneath, but all wet on top?

I'm thinking that a shammy or ShamWow would be good to remove most of the water from the rain suit (at least the parts I can reach).

Once I've done that, the alternatives I see are, in descending order of stupidity:

1) I could stow the damp rain suit in the pet carrier. Too dumb to even consider.

2) I could drape the rain suit over the scooter to dry out during the day but it would be vulnerable to theft.

3) I have a scooter cover that I could put on over the top to hide the rain suit draped over the scooter, but that would prevent drying as well, and might still not deter theft.

4) I could thread the security cable through an arm of the rain suit jacket and a leg of the pants and then drape it over the scooter to dry;

5) I could Leave the rain suit on until I get up to the office and take it off there. There is a large semi-open area (think closet but no door) for winter coats where there is plenty of room. The major inconvenience would be me dripping wet, schlepping the computer bag, potentially the helmet as well, and carrying my suit jacket awkwardly at arms' length to avoid getting it all wet, and waddling my way up to my office like a duck. The prospect of the elevator ride in that get-up is not enticing. I'm thinking a combination of Mr. Bean and Barney Fife.

Any thoughts, however helpful, or humorous, will be very much appreciated.
Ossessionato
2010 GTS 300 Super "Yukihime" 2013 BV350 "TBD"
Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2493
Location: South SF Bay Area
Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:08 pm quote
I gather that you work in a 'cube farm' where you do not have a private office in which to shed your protective garb?

(Which is where I do mine) People at work are pretty used to me by now arriving in Toreador Pants including a skirt over my armored pants.

Could you shed the rain suit in the garage, shake it out there, and carry it on the suit jacket hangar (after you put your jacket on, of course)? Hang it in the coat room to dry with the macks and wellies?
Ossessionato
A fracking cage sadly
Joined: 22 Jul 2009
Posts: 4000
Location: Seattle
Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:12 pm quote
I commute daily in rain and I am lucky in that I have lots of storage space in the cube. Seattle is fairly alternative commute friendly, so it's not unusual for people to come into the building with their bicycle or motorcycle gear on and then change. I have a nice set of work shoes in my desk, so I just wear everything into the building, change out of the gear, put on work shoes and put the gear into the locker unit next to my desk. When it's dripping, I usually prop open the locker door to get some air but otherwise it all works out. So far it has worked out well, although I have to keep the hair short to avoid helmet shaped hair mess.
Hooked
2010 GTS 300 Super
Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 447
Location: Texas Hill Country
Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:46 pm quote
If you can, leave all of your suit coats at work. It's one less thing to worry about. I have a closet at work I put all my suit coats in. When it's time for the cleaners, I just wad 'em up and into the pet carrier they go. I strap my backpack to, well, my back, over my Corazzo jacket. Get a rainsuit and keep a towel handy and your good to go.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3115
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:54 pm quote
Commuting in a suit?
So that's two experienced votes for making my way up to the office in full gear. And the suggestion of leaving the dress shoes in the office is perfectly logical. The dumb thing is that it's exactly what I do all winter since I wear snow boots every day. It should have been obvious. Plus it means that if my shoes get a little damp in the commute at least it won't be my dress shoes and the others can dry out under my desk. The helmet can stay locked with the bike, rain or shine since the bike's indoors. Bringing the gear upstairs guarantees it'll be nice and dry at day's end.

Thanks for the encouragement, it is really appreciated.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3115
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:59 pm quote
Viscerok wrote:
If you can, leave all of your suit coats at work. It's one less thing to worry about. I have a closet at work I put all my suit coats in. When it's time for the cleaners, I just wad 'em up and into the pet carrier they go. I strap my backpack to, well, my back, over my Corazzo jacket. Get a rainsuit and keep a towel handy and your good to go.
I like that too. Leaves my topcase free for other stuff. There plenty of room in the cloakroom for my suit jacket and the cloakroom is just for our small team, with restricted access (we're lawyers, people pretty much want us segregated in our own little corner )
Hooked
BMW F700GS, 1996 Honda Helix, Giallo GTS (sold), Buddy125
Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 493
Location: Mission Hills, San Diego CA
Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:09 pm quote
my spouse commutes in a suit often and he rides in all kind of weather. He drapes his rain gear to dry and has never had a problem (parks in Cleveland at a university) When I just asked him if he was worried if someone would steal his rain suit he said-"who wants some wet stinky clothes? ... If they need it that bad well let them have it".
He puts his boots in the top case. truth be told I would not leave a jacket out there.

Please wear boots even if it is just the ride to the office and a total hassle to switch to dress shoes. My spouse broke his foot in dress shoes as a result of t-boning a car by a driver who ran a stop sign in parking lot.

I wear and jacket and lap apron in the rain and bring it into the office since my parking is not covered.

As a side note he got his best (and cheapest) rain suit at an Army/Navy supply store. It is heavy duty and does not leak

p.s edit- I leave biz shoes at the office as other folks have mentioned. Clonking into a court room (not an atty, but still gotta look good) in July raises a an eyebrow or two.

Last edited by peabody99 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
Addicted
07 GTS, 07 Stella
Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 768
Location: New York
Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:10 pm quote
Ditch the Corazzo, wear the suit jacket, leaves room for your wet rain suit in the topcase. Just shake it out before putting it in...it's a rain suit it shouldn't be absorbing water.

Why forego protection on your legs and feet, but insist on it for your arms and torso? Your head, face and hands I can understand.
Banned
29,000 miles on my atlantic pastel green 2007 GTS 250
Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 4332
Location: Utah Valley
Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:35 pm quote
Look to Italy for answers. The male riders often wear suits, and it often rains there. Hint: their scooters have tall windscreens!
Ossessionato
Chetak
Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 2033
Location: New Mexico
Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:26 am quote
Just like doing any thing else in a suit... You can but why would you? R
Ossessionato
2009 GTV 244, 2005 BMW F652 CS, 2001 ET4 150
Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Posts: 2379
Location: Chicago, IL
Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:48 am quote
Most of the modern light to medium duty rain gear is water repellent and breathable, and does not get or remain wet in any way.

I have Nike ACG gear that is lightweight, packable, has taped seams, and fits easily over all of my other gear. I've ridden at speeds similar to yours regularly (albeit with a large windscreen) in downpours and have not gotten wet in the slightest. The water just rolls off. One shake and any remaining water is gone, then it's back to the topcase for the day.
Addicted
GTS300 Super
Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 595
Location: Dallas TX
Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:02 am quote
My office is business casual so minus the jacket I had the same concerns. It turned out to be no big problem. Work shoes I keep in a drawer at the office and commute in riding boots. I recently switched to an Olympia Stealth one piece armor suit because itís great for summer and importantly, it's so quick to get in and out of. In rain I wear rainwear under the armor suit. I wear everything except my helmet and gloves into the office and I don't find anything to be "dripping" no matter how hard the rain. I also have to take an elevator up to the office. No problem. At my desk I 'm out of my riding wear in 30 seconds. On dry days I put the gear in a cabinet at my desk and on rainy day I hang the gear in closet room. By the end of the day everything is dry or barely damp. I carry my computer strapped to the carrier in a water resistant computer bag.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3115
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:42 pm quote
Thanks to all for the benefit of your experience and advice.

I feel much more confident about riding to work in the rain.

Here's what I'm taking away:

1) I'll leave all my suit jackets and my dress shoes at the office. There's an appropriate place to leave them, so no problem;
2) Thanks to your comments, I am no longer concerned about how wet my gear will be. Plus, since there is no suit jacket to carry from the bike, I'm not concerned about the awkward trip from the garage to my office;
3) Point well taken from the Toreador Pants folks. I'll invest in some leg armor and boots.
Hooked
GTS 300 Super
Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 103
Location: Burlington
Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:37 pm quote
Good for you. I was facing the same dilemma and finally bought an IKEA wardrobe for my cubicle. I leave a copule of suits there and a pair of dress shoes and change when I get to the office. It works like a dream and I dress for the outdoors when I am there and for the indoors when I get to work. Best of all - no compromises!
Hooked
Imperial Blue GT200
Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 189
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:41 pm quote
I work in an office as well and carry all my work clothes to work under the seat (very toasty in winter) and in summer I use a bag on the front shopping hook.

I change in the bathroom when I get to work.

The benefits of this are I often wear a skirt and can not ride with a skirt on, and in summer it gets hot in the morning on the way to work and I don't want my shirt to get all stinky so leaving it until I am in the office to put on a fresh top works well.


I am amazed that you need to worry about some spoon nicking your wet weather gear, some people out there will take anything just because it's there!!
Molto Verboso
GTS 250ie, GT 200 (cannonball scoot)
Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 1055
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:12 am quote
i've left many wet things (shamwow's, gloves, seat cover, etc.) in the pet carrier and have found they dry off nicely because of the warmth. its like a little oven!
Ossessionato
X10 350
Joined: 12 Nov 2008
Posts: 2958
Location: London
Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:15 am quote
Where do people put their coats in your office?

Put your bike gear there.

Why stash stuff under the seat/in the topbox? (Personally, if I have the option, I like to keep an eye on my helmet, so I'd never leave it in the box when I can take it into the office. They're expensive things, and they protect my head, so I like to know they're somewhere safe.)
Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 (sold) MP3 500 (current)
Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 21499
Location: Palatka, Florida
Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:18 am quote
Punto wrote:
The benefits of this are I often wear a skirt and can not ride with a skirt on...
Why not?

scooter_bridge1_815.jpg

Ossessionato
Kymco P250 Now, P200E in the 80's
Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 3908
Location: Antelope, CA, USA
Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:11 am quote
I bought my scoot to be able to commute to work and I love it. I have been doing it since June of 2008. I don't always scoot in the rain though as I also need to take my daughter to Her school on my way to the office. I waer a n Olympia jacket and I hear some overpants. When I get yo the office, I place my helmet and gloves in the top case. I put my buff neck warmer in the jacket pocket along with my ear protection. I take my lunch and coffee cup into the office. I normally wear my jacket and riding pants to my desk. I hang the jacket(s) on a coat hager on a hook over my cube wall and then sit in my desk chair and unzip and remove the riding pants. I fold them up and place them in a tote box under my desk. I frequently bring a fresh shirt to wear for the work day. When I do this i change shirts in the restroom and place my commute shirt in a bag in a drawer. At the office I have a set with a comb, brush, deodorant and a body spray. I also have a toothbrush and paste for those days I have a spicy lunch.
Molto Verboso
Vespa GTS 300 Super
Joined: 28 Mar 2010
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Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:16 am quote
stickyfrog wrote:
Punto wrote:
The benefits of this are I often wear a skirt and can not ride with a skirt on...
Why not?
I like this one !!!!
Hooked
07 Genuine Buddy 125 and 09 Sym RV250
Joined: 22 Jul 2009
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Location: Central Ohio
Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:14 am quote
peabody99 wrote:
I wear and jacket and lap apron in the rain and bring it into the office since my parking is not covered.
+1 I also do this, the lap apron is great, I can also put things on the floor behind my legs to keep them dry (open the pet carrier, put the strap down over the open seat and then close the pet carrier, when you get on the bag will be behind your legs on the floor and under the lap apron, it is not totally waterproof, but it protects from most of the rain and keep the bag from getting all wet--even water resistant bags take a long time to dry, IME).

I also usually just shake off the lap apron to get most of the rain off and fold it and put it in the pet carrier, it stays a bit damp but when I get home again I take it inside to let it dry properly (and put it BACK in the pet carrier the next morning!)

I can't imagine commuting in dress shoes, but I think you got that all figured out already.

If I need to schlep my laptop around with me (rarely happens, thank goodness) I put the computer itself inside a big ziplock bag and seal it up, put my cords, cables and whatever into Ziplock bags as well, and anything that might be sensitive to damp into their own ziplock bags, I don't trust the water resistancy of any thing when we are talking about something so expensive and necessary. Ziplock makes these humongous bags and some of them are even big enough to fit tents into, they are great for an added layer of protection (keep you organized too).

-v
Molto Verboso
LX150
Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 1198
Location: US
Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:22 am quote
Re: Commuting in a suit?
davidmasse wrote:
This coming Monday I will begin commuting 20km each way to work on my LX 150 and I really need some advice. The entire ride will be on streets where the posted speed limit is from 30 kph to 70 kph (roughly 20 mph to 40 mph).

I work in an office and must wear a suit.

Here's my plan so far.

If it's not raining, no problem. My suit jacket fits in the Vespa OEM top case. I plan to get a bungee net tomorrow and use it to secure my laptop shoulder bag to the back seat.

I'll be wearing a Corazzo 5.0 armored jacket over a shirt and tie, a Nolan N102 full face convertible (flip-up) helmet, leather gloves, my suit pants and dress shoes.

I'll be parking the scooter during the work day in a secure underground parking garage.

When I get to the office, I'll put on my suit jacket and stow the Corazzo in the top case. I checked and it just fits. I'll either hang the helmet on the bag hook and lock it to the bike with a sturdy cable using the loop under the floorboard, or bring it up to the office.

The part I haven't figured out is what to do for rain.

Tomorrow I am going to buy a rain suit that I will keep in the pet carrier at all times. When it rains, I'll wear the rain suit over the Corazzo.

For the laptop bag, I plan to find a rain cover, most likely at a travel or camping store.

What I am wondering is, what my strategy should be when I get into the garage at the office, dry underneath, but all wet on top?

I'm thinking that a shammy or ShamWow would be good to remove most of the water from the rain suit (at least the parts I can reach).

Once I've done that, the alternatives I see are, in descending order of stupidity:

1) I could stow the damp rain suit in the pet carrier. Too dumb to even consider.

2) I could drape the rain suit over the scooter to dry out during the day but it would be vulnerable to theft.

3) I have a scooter cover that I could put on over the top to hide the rain suit draped over the scooter, but that would prevent drying as well, and might still not deter theft.

4) I could thread the security cable through an arm of the rain suit jacket and a leg of the pants and then drape it over the scooter to dry;

5) I could Leave the rain suit on until I get up to the office and take it off there. There is a large semi-open area (think closet but no door) for winter coats where there is plenty of room. The major inconvenience would be me dripping wet, schlepping the computer bag, potentially the helmet as well, and carrying my suit jacket awkwardly at arms' length to avoid getting it all wet, and waddling my way up to my office like a duck. The prospect of the elevator ride in that get-up is not enticing. I'm thinking a combination of Mr. Bean and Barney Fife.

Any thoughts, however helpful, or humorous, will be very much appreciated.
Rain gear is ultra lightweight, and always packed in the glove box along w/ the tire repair kit. Repair kit on the right side, rain suit on the left. I got it at REI sized large to fit over the gear. There's probably room in there on the right side for a thin laminated nylon sack to keep my laptop dry, but for me, if it's raining I generally take my motorcycle w/ hard bags anyways, so I don't really think about it.

Jackets.. Generally, I use three. And generally I'm a bmw whore when it comes to gear. (Once I found that it BMW sizing fit me nice, I didn't bother to shop for options, since there's a bmw store near me). It's nice stuff anyways. I generally don't use one-piece suits, bcs I like to mix & match for the weather. I usually always wear a pair of zip-off cover pants on the bottom. A mesh jacket for the ridiculously humid summers. You have many ppl who swear that the ram-air ventilation will cool you down enough in a gore-tex suit. But I found that I was just kidding myself wrt that. In the summers...even a mesh suit is pretty hot if there's stop&go traffic. There's *always* stop & go traffic. There's also the regular BMW commuter jacket, and the savana if I know it's going to rain all day (don't have to bother yanking out the rain gear). In the winter, the savanna & heated gear on the motorcycle, or the lap apron on the scoot is how I go, bcs it's really windproof. The bmw commuter jackets are sized large enough to fit a suit under it, relatively nicely. The only problem is sweat, when it's hot out. If I don't have the commuter jacket on, I just fold the the sportscoat and put it in my backpack.

On the motorcycle, I have the luxury of being able to don & doff my gear next to the bike, especially if my client has covered parking. But on the scoot, generally speaking, I don't do that. There's just not nearly enough packing space. I could pack a pacsafe bag in my backpack and stow all my crap in the pacsafe and hook the pacsafe cable to the helmet hook, but it's just a personal preference...a pacsafe tethered to the scoot is just...I dunno...a little unkempt. Instead, I just walk in w/ my stuff, minus the helmet (helmet *always* gets stowed under the seat, out of the elements). My work back pack is large enough to stow my jacket & cover pants. I head into the lobby or bathroom and stow my gear, and head to the desk. If it happened to be raining, I generally take my rain gear out some time during the day to dry out.

When it's *really* hot out...well...my recommendation if you have an important meeting is to just have a spare shirt at work. You *will* sweat. Mesh suits are based on evaporative cooling. You have to sweat a little to feel most of the benefit.

Boots are the bmw city boot, which are pretty well matched w/ a suit, aesthetically.

Suiting up is also in the bathroom or in the lobby.

I don't use back armor for my commute. It's too bulky to fit in my bag, and it's benefits aren't that significant.

Get a large windscreen.
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 29304

Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:42 am quote
Take your rain gear off by your scooter. You have clothes underneath right Shake them off and carry them into the office and hang them up to dry. Windscreen and lap apron are great ideas also.Good luck
Molto Verboso
'06 GTS (Grendel), '13 Honda NC700X (Ginger)
Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 1379
Location: Alameda, CA
Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:53 am quote
stickyfrog wrote:
Punto wrote:
The benefits of this are I often wear a skirt and can not ride with a skirt on...
Why not?
Hot until I think about what would happen should she take a spill (and I saw someone in high heels on blue LX take a spill in the intersection even as I was parking my own scoot and though she came out relatively intact, it was still pretty ugly). Points for nice gams, though.
Molto Verboso
LX150
Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 1198
Location: US
Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:54 am quote
judy wrote:
Take your rain gear off by your scooter...
Unless, of course, it's pouring cats & dogs on you...in which case...best to keep the rain gear on for just a few more feet.
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 29304

Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:04 am quote
WASP true but i'm assuming it's a covered parking garage with an elevator to his office. Hopefully it's a correct assumption.
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