How We Began



Over the Labour Day Weekend in 1999, I rode the Three Flags Classic Motorcycle Rally for the third time. That year the rally began in Nogales, Mexico, and ended in Medicine Hat, Alberta. At the final Banquet, my ticket entitled me to a prize, a gift certificate for a company which at that time was a new name to me.


Widder Enterprises USA, has been manufacturing electrical clothing for many years. Some of my friends were beginning to get hooked up to their bikes, and I had heard good reports of the results. I am technologically challenged however and naturally averse to plugging myself into any machine, so the idea of getting myself an electric vest had never occurred to me until that moment. But what was there to lose? Here I was with a gift certificate... It wouldn`t hurt just to get a vest and see what they look like.


First came the fun of checking the website and making my selection. Then I contacted Pat Widder himself and explained who I was. Then came the pain of trying to get a parcel delivered from across the border without having to pay a fortune in taxes and brokerage fees...


When this was finally accomplished, I opened my prize. A very nice looking vest - well made - yes, it looked promising! I began to wear it without committing myself to plugging it in and it worked well, the Thinsulate® Insulation is very effective and I could show everyone where it would plug in if I chose to take that step. It came with a thermostat which I had chosen over the on/off switch as I was certain a controllable heat would suit me better. Control and commitment - two things which give many of us a problem in life!


Before I had resolved my philosophical thoughts and plugged in, a friend who was very impressed with my new vest and happy to plug into whatever is available, decided to order a pair of the innovative leg-chaps. Quite undeterred by the jeers and jokes of our riding companions, he tried out his chaps and was totally impressed with the warmth over his legs and especially his knees and the enhanced comfort of riding as a result. Worn under regular chaps or even under jeans, their presence can be quite discreet. However Doug, a born salesman does not have "discreet" in his vocabulary. He thought these new chaps were the best addition to his bike since the second wheel and was determined to let everyone know! The following day he was on the phone to Pat informing him that with the problems of shipping across the border, and since Widder products are relatively unknown in Canada where they can be an enormous bonus to our rather short and cool riding season, it is time Widder appointed a Canadian Distributor.


Shortly after that we were on our way to California to meet the Widders and set up our agreement. The rest, as they say, is history. And yes I did eventually take the plunge and plug in. It was positively decadent, to be able to maintain that level of warmth with so little effort! And I WAS right about the thermostat, level 5 out of a possible 7 was perfect. No adjustment necessary.