Friday, December 4

Stylishly Dark

Taking the layered look to extremes this morning, I tried ski mittens (black) which turned out to be a bit on the warm side. I also wore my balaclava (black), safety glasses (black frame) and neck warmer (black), cycling jacket (black), two long-sleeve shirts (one wicking, one not), and cargo shorts over sweat pants (neither black - my concession to visibility in the dark) over cycling tights (black). I finished off the ensemble with a regular pair of socks over my black ski socks. Other than the mittens, everything worked pretty well, though my toes were borderline. Putting all that stuff on, it wasn’t until I was halfway to work before I realized I’d forgotten my helmet, which is NOT black. Which is also why you don't see a helmet in the picture, taken at the warm Starbucks that is on my route home. Please do not call the helmet Gestapo down on me!
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The search for the perfect hand cover continues. Right now, the leading candidate can be seen here. The link ensures I'll be able to find those candidates again and add them to my Christmas wish list. My wife has come to regret the old mantra of "you never tell me what you want!" I imagine that if I get some under the tree, they'll be - black, though I have specified no particular color on my list.

Over at "Rantwick, Eh" I notice that Rantwick also favors the safety glasses for temperatures around freezing. Clear ski goggles are a bit too warm at that temperature. He's foolish enough to go with a giant tub instead of the pocket heaven that may be found in cargo shorts. He might consider some form of mitten to avoid future tragedies.

Interestingly, there's a very good post over at CommuteOrlando about high visibility clothing. I may not do recipes on this blog, but high fashion is not out of bounds. Clearly, dayglo is not my primary fashion priority, though I DO try to pick light colored cargo shorts so I don't look like a ninja warrior. With two headlights, two taillights, and a rear reflector, I don't fill the "bike blog" ninja definition, though I may be a little truer to the original definition. If you're wondering, no, I DON'T go out of my way to pick dark clothes for night riding. But I KNOW, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, as demonstrated here, that motorists WILL see and respond to a cyclist operating his bike in a vehicular fashion. I do NOT accept the premise that I can't responsibly operate on the road with a dark cycling jacket.

On the other hand, riding to work in work clothes? I think not - I'd freeze my living behind off!

PS: No actual snow flurries this morning. I was VERY disappointed. I guess I remain just a fair weather cyclist...

SATURDAY UPDATE:
Contrary to Rollz's contention, I looked NOTHING like Randy in "A Christmas Story." HE had RED on. See Link for what I think he's recollecting. I also didn't fall down so we'll never know if I could have gotten back up on my own. The link IS an extremely amusing scene and I'm going to be looking to rent that movie. Oh, forgot to mention in the original post - my shoes were black, too, though they do have reflective stuff built into the heel. I also exaggerated a bit. My mittens were black, but they did have a little white piping on them, and my neck warmer had "Blackcomb at Whistler" embroidered on it with a gold colored thread. Yup, cycling with style!

7 comments:

Rat Trap Press said...

I'm surprised that you could move with all those layers on. You've got me thinking about what I'm going to wear on my ride tomorrow.

Chandra said...

You got your tracks covered. Did I see the word recipes on your post? *wink*.

You know duct-tape is glow-in-the-dark material. Perhaps you would kindly consider some sash made with duct-tape to add to your visibility.

REI makes a mitt that is similar to the one you're considering. But if it gets wet, these things don't offer much protection.

I prefer using my Pearl Izumi winter gloves if push comes to shove, but frankly, I think they are too warm for Dallas on most days (except in cold rain).

I like your goggles idea!

Be safe and enjoy your winter riding!

Peace :)

Steve A said...

Keri Caffrey started getting enthusiastic about beer & recipes due to some unintended provocation from me. Now it looks like Chandra's threatening to spill recipes from his blog to over here.

ON THE OTHER HAND, maybe I should, just for variety, post a couple of "cooking on a Jaguar exhaust manifold" recipes?

Rantwick said...

Holy ton of layers! I'm still operating with good neck snuggly with t-shirt under bike jacket and fuzzy tights... it's all relative, I know...

Rollz said...

You remind me of Randy in the movie The Christmas Story.

cycler said...

ummm- how cold was it exactly??
As a native Houstonian, I know it's all relative, but today, in the nippiest day we've had so far up in Boston, with ice in the bike lane and temps about 28F, I wore: my work pants (wool, with a lining, a poly cotton long sleeve T shirt, a wool sweater, and some velvet gloves. I started out with a light trenchcoat, but had to take that off midway to work (about 3 miles along) My nose and toes were a bit chilly, but I imagine I would be sweating like crazy in that getup.

My basic rule is to bike in what I would wear inside, and carry a light layer beyond that. I normally don't need the extra layer, but it gives me flexibility if I should get cold, or if temps change during the day.

Steve A said...

My getup didn't have much more in total than cycler's other than the mittens, balaclava, and socks. The shorts were mostly for the pockets rather than warmth.

It was about freezing. For the ride home I carried the cycling tights in the trunk along with the light shirt. Mittens also went in the trunk for the trip home other than for the photo - in favor of my full finger cycling gloves which rode TO work in the trunk. I'm a bit "hair challenged" so the balaclava makes a big difference and my eyes water below 40F. It was our first freezing day here and, with the trunk, I wanted to be able to be warm all over. It worked, though a bit warmer for toes would have been welcome.

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