When I first started working for Eagle Leather, my only motorcycle experience was a Honda 50 dirt bike a neighbor owned as a teenager.
I had been around Harley riders in my past having visited the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on 3 occasions with my family. I was fascinated by the large crowd and all the motorcycles. I didn’t get chaps, and as a teenager I was too afraid to ask anyone.
My first day at Eagle Leather, I was asked if I had ever worn chaps. I hadn’t, but I was about to have my first experience wearing a pair of chaps. I felt awkward as another employee started fitting me. Sure, you can put chaps on yourself, but I like many others having chaps put on for their first time would have struggled without help.
Did you know they don’t go on like pants? I didn’t.
I was handed the belt from the employee standing behind me and told to fasten it to the middle notch. Later I would be told it’s because fastening the belt first keeps the chaps from laying on the ground while you open the legs. Another benefit of putting the belt on first is to free up both hands to work with the zippers and snaps. Otherwise, you need to hold the chaps up with one hand and zip and snap them with the other.
Suddenly I felt a tug on the waist of the belt from the back.
The employee told me they were just adjusting the waist for the proper fit. Being new I replied to them “huh?”. To which they showed me the back of another pair of chaps on display and told me most chaps have grommets and a lace in the back to adjust the waist. The front of the belt on chaps will adjust 3 to 6 inches, and the back, well at one point we adjusted over 12 inches for one customer.
“Are you right-handed or left” I was asked. “Right” I answered. Within an instant the employee helping me was squatting at my right-side unsnapping and unzipping the leg. Whoosh! I was surprised to feel one hand pushing the chap from the front between my legs, and another hand grabbing from the back. The chap was shuffled, tugged, and twisted into place where the zipper was hooked. Before my mind could catch up to what was taking place, the zipper was zipped, and the buttons snapped.
“How does that feel” The employee said, followed by “turn your other leg so I can finish”.
I replied “weird” turning to offer my other leg to be wrapped in this protective layer of leather.
“Don’t worry. It always feels weird the first time. You’ll get used to it” they said as they folded up the bottom so I wouldn’t walk on the chaps. “Go Sit on that bike and see how they feel” the employee followed up with.
As I started walking towards the bike, I couldn’t help but feel restricted and unnatural like going to the gym for the first time and wondering how to use a machine. This didn’t help when I went to kick my leg over the bike. A motion I had done many times before suddenly had resistance, but I managed with just a little extra effort. Surprisingly, after sitting on the bike the chaps became very comfortable like a pair of jeans after being worn all day right out of the wash.
That was my first experience with Chaps. Leave a comment to share yours.
By the way, if you are looking for your first pair or a new pair of chaps, Shop Now!