Friday, November 20

It's Almost Thanksgiving - Time for a List!

Tree photo from Wikipedia
That means it's time to put a Christmas list together so my wife and kids don't claim "you never tell me what you want." To head such lies off, I nowadays put together a Powerpoint slide show, complete with accompanying music. One year, the music was "The Green Berets," another, it was the theme to "Star Wars." It includes places they can go to get the items and what price a "good deal" might be.

I don't need lots of cycling stuff this year - but I thought I'd pass along a few items for y'all to consider, even if you wind up shopping for yourself.

First off, I think my Specialized Sonoma shoes are getting pretty shabby lately, with holes appearing in the fabric, though the tread on the bottom of the shoes is still good. Many thanks to Keri Caffrey of CommuteOrlando for the suggestion that "Pearl Izumi X-Alp Enduro, Style no. 5735,” similar to, but a little less snazzy than the women's Style 5736 might work well. Between $80 and $100. Men's size 43 should do things quite nicely.

Next, my feet get cold when I'm riding to work and it gets under about 40F. By the time it gets down to freezing, it gets really painful before I make it even 5 miles. I'm going to take the suggestion of Let's Ride a Bike and try out two pairs of socks to see if that helps, but I'm also thinking that shoe covers might be an excellent idea. Trouble is, there seem to be ones that are for aero & others for warmth. I want warmth. I'm a commuter, not a racer! These things are priced all over the map, running from under $20 up to $100. $100 seems real steep for socks you put on outside your shoes. Crimeny, even REI seems to have dozens of different types, such as shown in a screenshot at right of their website. It gets more complicated since it appears there are "road shoe" covers and "mtb shoe" covers. I think I need the latter. I'm not wanting to walk like a duck when I'm just going to work! I'm sure someone out there has a blog that wants to do a "shoe cover special post!" Ain't the Internet wonderful? Anyway, for sure, multiple pairs of real wool socks, all in the same color, would be welcome. Wool socks would also make good stocking stuffers! And speaking of wool, I expect an added report from RatTrap press on wool jerseys in time to add THOSE to my list if needed. Get cracking!

While I'm trying to stay warm, I'm hoping that our ski mittens work so I wouldn't mind title to a used pair, abandoned by our kids. Something exotic might work as well, but free sounds good. For my head, my balaclava will work, but between black pants, a black cycling jacket, and a black balaclava, I'm starting to feel a bit like "Return of the Ninja" even with lights all over the front and back of Buddy. If we can find my "Smith's Clear Ski Goggles" it would also be just ducky. My eyes water when it gets cold and I'm heading into the wind. Heck, I'd even be willing to wear the kids' Scott clear goggles. Safety glasses, as Dottie recommends, just don't work all that well in my book when it's cold and windy.

I'll probably also add the generator hub wheel for Frankenbike to the list. It's expensive enough with lights that it'll make everything else look cheap! With everything, it'd run over $300 and probably be a special order. Maybe I'll lie & say it costs even more to make the shoes look like a bargain. Shhh...
And, just to get some things that seem really cool but it is unclear how strong the real NEED is, those panniers that Suburban Assault pointed out (about $80, but I don't know who carries them around Tarrant County), and the Topeak tub (probably around $40 but I have no idea where to get one) that Rantwick asked about (MUCH cooler than the blue or even RED tubs), would be fun.
Oh yeah, a small, inexpensive camera with a good optical zoom would really kick the iPhone's butt, too! $100. They're on sale at Costco.
And, pretty much in the cycling category nowadays, sugar-free coffee syrup in various flavors would work really well. Finally, if they aren't just imaginary, Park Tools BBQ Tongs would finish things off perfectly! Actually, since I've started to diverge from cycling stuff, World Peace would be really nice, but I'm not sure where my family can go to pick that up...


Chandra said...

world peace --- awww...i will drink to that!

peace :)

jeff said...

I love it. My little brother used to make a list including item# and page in the Sears catalog. By the way, I have some toe covers that do a great job of keeping my feet a little warmer if it's dry, just cold.

Steve A said...

So, what are the particulars on thes toe covers?

ChipSeal said...

My toe covers are neoprene and cover the front half of my foot. I found them sufficient even at 24 degrees, but my trip was only a half-hour long.

I need to pay more attention to my hands than my feet to be comfortable in cold weather, and I have lived long enough to understand that the cold temperature guage body part seems to vary for different people. For some it is the feet or hands and for others it can be their nose, or ears. There may be more but those are the most common.

Keeping your "cold temperature guage" happy will allow you to tolerate substantially colder temperatures.

Rantwick said...

+1 for clear goggles over glasses of any description in cold air.

I don't recall asking about a Topeak tub, but it isn't cooler. It's open to the sky, unless the link provided is pointing at the wrong thing. In any case thanks for the link to my tub envy post!

Wild Bill said...

I have the Park Tool bottle opener, so I assume that the BBQ tongs are just as real. The bottle opener works really well, BTW. Well designed and functional, and sure to last forever -- just like the rest of their stuff.

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