Thursday, April 17, 2008
Having become more focused on my 75% travel miles by bike challenge, I did invest in one winter item to make travel more comfortable.
New purchase: booties (very dorky looking)- these are just heavyduty waterproof nylon covers; they have no insulation, but paired with my waterproof pants, they keep my feet dry. There are no solid bottoms on these, but they are extremely effective. MEC $28
In Buffalo the weather generally hovers around freezing in the winter, with February temperatures sitting in the mid-twenties. Temperature is rarely a problem. On my way out of the house w/bike, one of my children's friends asked me if it wasn't currently too cold to be cycling. I told him, "if you are cold you aren't peddling fast enough". Leaving no skin exposed is vital and insulating extremities keeps frostbite at bay.
Old purchase- reuse: Ski mittens; why people use gloves for sports which don't require fine finger control I don't understand. When your fingers are together, they keep each other warmer. I will look for/design myself new mittens; my ski mittens (though they had zippers to open the sides up) made my hands sweat. Something to keep the fingers warm, while allowing the palms to cool would be perfect. Think pit zips for the palms : ) Also, a pair of safety goggles- I priced out clear glasses made for cycling and they approached $100. The safety goggles don't look too weird, I can attach my mirror, and they cover my exposed face and eyeballs (see above). They work great.
I also now have a rescue bike. It is a low end Trek mountain bike, which was left locked to a fence about 1 week too long. Devoid of wheels and its seat/seatpost, my spouse bought me parts and now it is a happy functioning bicycle again. The bike shop told him it would be cheaper to buy a new bike... but he saw the environmental cause and rallied in time for Christmas.