Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rocking the Lobstah'

When the colonials came to this country they found lobsters up to six feet tall!

So as with most things when I think about purchasing new things I try to minimize my environmental impact. This results in buying less and buying things that are supremely functional and encourage good behaviors. This usually means that I have exponentially less issue buying things for bike commuting that have the potential to make my rides more comfortable, or less likely to be derailed by inclement weather. Such it was as the temperature started to drop as we inched into the depths of winter through December. As I found my fingers starting to get wicked cold I searched out new gloves. I tried my ski gloves but these were bulky and awkward on the bike and made riding quite uncomfortable. They also were not as warm as I had hoped as the windchill really started to show itself above about 15mph. I thought about mittens as I prefer them to gloves for their absolute warmth and comfy feel, however they would reduce my ability to operate the brakes which I consider an important aspect of stopping on the geared bicycle I use for commuting (as can be found here).

After this I remembered seeing some sweet lobster gloves designed for riding made by Pearl Izumi....

These gloves balance the functionality of gloves and the warmth of mittens. They are wind and waterproof and they also have nice reflective piping and a super soft snot spot on both thumbs which is a nice feature for cleaning up after the inevitable cold weather snot rockets. I bought them and so far i'm enjoying them. They are perfectly warm below about 25 degrees where is around where my other gloves start to get chilly. On the downside the cuffs are on the tight side so they don't ventilate well when its warmer so in some occasions my hands really overheat. I'm thinking about modifying them by surgically removing some of the elastic around the wrists but don't want to wreck them.

I think having warm hands has to be the most important part of winter commuting. Ears would have to be second, but numb ears have little to do with steering and braking the bicycle (at least personally) plus they make your hands look like ninja turtle digits, cowabunga! I think these glove mittens (glittens perhaps) are a justified purchase. So with that said how are all you winter commuters making out so far and what have you added to your gear closet to make your rides easier? Hasn't been too mean of a winter but its always a challenge to head out and ride when its nasty out.

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