And here I thought you were not supposed to wash leather. Igor from Velo Orange was wandering around Tokyo one night, after a bit of the ole sake, and he found himself in a mist filled alley. The sounds of the city became strangely silent, like when you yawn and for some reason suddenly can’t hear anything. A dim light beckoned at the end of the alley. Igor moved toward, unaware of the sounds of his footsteps. He later recounted to me (over another bottle of Sake), that he felt as if he was on a moving walkway, like they have at the airport for lazy people. As he approached the light, the fog thickened. A single, melancholy note quavered in air, like a kid holding down one of the black keys on a Casio keyboard. The light faded and the world became dark. When Igor came to, he found himself in an old warehouse, the smell of wood and moth balls and leather came to his nostrils. He looked around. An ancient man sat hunched and silent behind a desk. The wall calendar behind his head read 1952.
Igor approached the man, slowly. Dust gathered about the man, like children around an ice cream truck, but less noisy. His voice sounded like it was traveling down a really long, twisty tunnel. Igor could barely hear him. The man motioned to the crates that filled the warehouse.
Igor leaned into the whispers issuing forth from the man’s dry lips.
The old man spoke: these boxes are your destiny. Inside you will find leather jackets from a failed fashion designer. I have been watching them, waiting for the right person.
Igor pried a crate open. Inside, immaculate, thick leather jackets were stacked, beautifully folded and covered in rice paper.
The old man motioned. First, you must prove yourself worthy of such a treasure. You must choose the favorite ramen of the fashion designer. He pointed to an array of instant ramen packets. Chicken, Sriracha Chicken, Roast Beef, Beef, Shrimp, Chili Mushroom.
Igor poured the water from a rust colored kettle. He choose carefully, and dumped the ingredients into the bowl. 3 minutes, later, he knew he had chosen wisely. The old man smiled and motioned to the boxes. As he slowly dematerialized into a dust cloud, he spoke: these new old stock jackets will serve you well Igor.
Today, you can buy a piece of Igor’s adventure when you buy these leather fender washers. They’re new old stock, 1950’s Japanese leather jackets that ha ve been cut up using a leather press that Igor makes Clint use whenever he is late to work.*
One pack is enough for any set of traditional fenders. Put them betwixt the fender and the brake bridge and chainstay bridge, and if you have room, between the fenders and the stay hardware on traditional french style fender hardware. Goop them up with a blend of yak butter and MSG, or if you don’t have yak butter, use Brooks Proofide.
*as far as we know none of this happened… or did it?