Thursday, January 11, 2007

Degrees of separation

Date: Jan. 10
Mileage: 27.0
January mileage: 258.7
Temperature upon departure: 11

I think everyone has some type of clothing that no matter how many different ensembles they own, it will never be enough. Take shoes for example. Geoff owns several dozen different pairs of shoes. He used to own two pair of the exact same Montrails, for what reasons - I don't know. Maybe he carried them on runs as spares in case he was attacked by a shoe-eating pit bull. I, on the other hand, could care less about shoes. I own what is basically the minimum for the number of activities I do - about 10, including my cross-country ski and snowboarding boots. I do not own a cycling-specific pair of shoes. No one's ever managed to sell me on clipless pedals and I doubt they ever will.

I do, however, own a few jackets.

The number of those does approach the several dozen range. It may even be in the 40s, if you count sweaters and hoodies. Geoff will chastise me for stuffing the front closet with no less than five red fleece jackets. But they each have their specific place and purpose, which he just doesn't seem to understand.

I have thin fleece base layers and fluffy fleece outer layers and waterproof shells and cotton hoodies for going to the movies and dress coats to wear to work and more-stylish rain jackets that can double as dress coats and down vests to wear over my fleece pullovers and wool sweaters to wear beneath fleece vests which I can then cover with a plastic raincoat. I have orange fleece and black fleece and red fleece and blue fleece, which I can mix and match in anywhere from one to four layers, depending on the temperature and length of activity.

And the best part about all of my jackets: When I go out for a ride - which I seem to be doing daily, lately - I can come home and just throw the sweaty pile in the laundry basket. And I don't even have to think about it again for two weeks, in which time I gaze at the dozens of empty hangers in the closet and decide that the lone light orange fleece jacket and gold shell just won't match the brown pants I was planning to wear. Then it's time to do the laundry.

Empty hangers and a laundry basket full of jackets ... that's when I know I've had a good week.