Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nice surprise

Date: Jan. 23
Mileage: 25.1
January mileage: 601.6
Temperature upon departure: 31

Today I received a couple of crucial packages. The first was from Dave Nice in Denver, who donated a Thermarest Z-Lite sleeping pad and dry bag to my Susitna 100 cause. As an added bonus, he also sent me the December issue of Modern Drunkard magazine and a bicycle patch. Now I have nearly everything I need - just waiting on a bivy and a couple more random things. Thanks Dave!

I also received my order from Cabela's. I finally bought a pair of pogies, or actually "handlebar mitts." I learned about these from another Dave. They're made for ATVs and snowmobiles, but a handlebar is a handlebar. These have built-in chemical handwarmer holders, and even come with a free pair! It's always fun to find a low-price version of some esoteric piece of gear. It's the John Stamstad school of thought - buy from K-mart, eat twinkies, and ride your ass off. These particular handlebar mitts actually come in "Advantage Timber" color as well as the black. I was very tempted to get the camo, but I don't think I really have the personality to pull off chic tacky. I think I would just come across as tacky tacky.

With these and the new pair of expedition-weight neoprene kayak socks I just found at a Juneau mall outdoor store, I think I may have finally found the best solution I'm going to for the wet-and-cold hands and feet problems I've been having. I'm excited to try them out. I have another long weekend coming up and I'm hoping for dry weather and long mileage, though I'd settle for one.


  1. Oh, just go for tacky, tacky.

  2. I have never used cycling pogies but have used them extensively for sea kayaking in the winter. I had tried all kinds of neoprene gloves and mits and my hands always got cold. But I can wear the pogies with no gloves on and paddle in temps where water is freeing on the paddle shaft.

    I will bet those will be great for cycling. Let us know how they work out.



  3. Way Cool...

    Camo isn't your color ;)

    wouldn't match the yellow and orange =)

  4. Good to hear you got those pogies. They definitely work better than any winter glove. You might want to sew the opening up a little bit. I did about three inches and they seem to stay put on my arms better. It also helps to hold the heat in. Hope you like them.

  5. Today should be a great day to test out the cool new gear--especially how it works out in terms of temperature/moisture management. It is just warm enough out there, and completely sloppy. I at least went for the "full plastic" Columbia rain gear, but should have just worn the ExtraTufs--I had my hiking boots which usually do the job. And the small gap that formed just above my right ankle, despite reflective wrap and buttons intended to keep it all sealed, means that I'll be teaching with a wet sock (or bare feet?) this morning. (And this gap formed only about 1/2 mile before I got to campus, too...)

    Anyway, it is 34F at campus right now, and super sloppy and wet. The riding is actually a bit better than yesterday, when there was no shoulder, and the snow piles were just enough I couldn't count on keeping a straight line--yikes. I stopped to wait on traffic at the two tightest spots yesterday, but felt completely comfortable (with traffic, not so much wet socks..).

    Have a great ride out there! And I can't wait to hear how the gear works--I'm guessing the socks will be perfect today, but the cool new mitts may be too much warmth today.

  6. hmmm -- you could see 800 miles in January -- would that be a personal best?


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