Category Archives: clothing
Shortly after purchasing and installing bar end mitts last winter I wrote an article about my first impressions. I continued to use them all of last winter and removed them come Spring. I put them back on a few weeks ago assuming I would continue to use them this winter but about a week ago I took them back off as I decided to try something different. What I am trying to say is I no longer have the same impression of them as I had when I first wrote about them.
They do block the wind which is appreciated. However, they are just too small and there is not enough room inside of them. My hands are not only right up against them which means the cold is transferred thru whatever gloves or mittens I wear and causes my handwear not to work as well as it would and can without this scenario. And because they are too small inside I am limited as to what handwear I can use. In addition to these problems it is nearly impossible for me to twist my twist shifters to shift gears. Working the brake levers is even challenging.
So I made the decision to remove them and just wear my Hotfingers Rip N Go mittens which do a good job of blocking the wind and air from passing thru them. Mittens are a bit cumbersome but I can shift and work my brake levers with them.
If needed I can also wear my hand knit wool mittens inside of the Hotfinger mittens which is warmer yet.
And I can use chemical hand warmers inside of either pair of mittens if needed. It has been working quite well for me … much better than using the bar end mitts.
As an update … I have discovered the best combination for me thus far. I have removed the wool mittens from inside of the Hotfinger mittens and am using the chemical hand warmers inside of the Hotfinger mittens. My thumbs were getting cold so by doing this there is room enough inside of the thumbs of the Hotfinger mittens to place chemical hand warmers and keep my thumbs warm. Of course, I am using twice as many of the hand warmers by doing this but at least my entire hands are staying warm.
I know that there are bar end mitts made for ATVs , snowmobiles and motorcycles which are larger and might be okay. I will keep this in the back of my head in case I need to go that route. I have to admit I am skeptical as to whether or not they would be large enough to eliminate the issues I have with these I already bought. Meanwhile I will continue on with what I am doing now and hope I am done with bar end mitts. They are ugly looking when installed anyway. I think I am going to be able to …
ENJOY THE RIDE
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
using my mittens. Now if I could just find a mitten for my nose.
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Many of us live where we deal with winter weather. And some of us try to keep riding our tadpole trikes thru the winter. So I ask ya … are you ready for winter? It is upon us whether we like it or not … and whether we are ready or not. And there is nothing we can do about shy of leaving for warmer weather elsewhere … which, of course, some do. But for many of us that is just not an option. We are stuck here in cold weather that comes upon us. The only other choice is to hibernate indoors thru the winter. Spending 5 months or so inside is not something I care to do. I would be climbing the walls if I tried that. For about three consecutive years I brought my trike inside the house and had it set up on a trainer thru the winter months. The “novelty wore off real quick”. I have never liked stationary exercise. I need to be outdoors and moving. Many many years ago I went inside mall walking in the early morning thru the winter. I could not stand walking inside so I went outside and walked around out in the cold.
So for those of us stuck where we are planted we just have to deal with it. I am among those who try to keep riding as much as I can. If it gets too cold I am done for. If we get too much snow … especially a wet heavy snow … I am done for. If the snow we get is too deep and isn’t being plowed off I am done for even if the weather is decent otherwise. Of course, my daily mileage is less than it is in nice riding weather. And depending upon the weather it may be less some days than others.
Keeping warm can be challenging. I have tried numerous approaches over the years and most of them have been rather unsuccessful. My hands and my feet are what I have the most problem with keeping warm enough. After many years of trying various things I think I have finally got something going for myself that is promising. I have received lots of suggestions from others over the years and have tried several of them. I am here to tell you that what works for one person may not work for another. That being said I am about to tell you what seems to be working for me. As I indicated it might not work for you.
In order to make this quick and easy for me I am simply going to copy and paste what I posted on Facebook:
“Cold winter weather is just around the corner according to the forecast. I can’t say that I am looking forward to it. I am sitting here at home now waiting for it to warm up before I go out riding. It was 18 degrees F. when I got up this morning. I try to ride thru the winter but not in the bitter cold. I can handle the 30s although I have to admit that the older I get the harder it is to do so. I much prefer the 50s but that is not typical winter temperatures for northern Indiana. I have experimented with various clothing and handwear trying to find something that works keeping me warm. Last winter I used “bar end mitts” on my handlebars. I liked them at first as they kept the cold air and wind off of my hands, however, they are just too small inside and my hands are right against them which transfers cold thru them onto my hands. Also it is nearly impossible to work the twist shifters to shift gears and it is even difficult to work the brake levers. I reinstalled them several weeks ago but I removed them about 3 weeks ago. I have found that I do better without them. I am wearing two pair of mittens … a hand knit wool pair which do a pretty good job of keeping my hands warm although air passes thru them … so I wear a second pair of mittens … Hotfingers Rip N Go which are fairly warm by themselves but they do an excellent job of stopping any air from passing thru. It is a bit bulky but they are doing a good job. And, if needed, I can also use chemical hand warmers inside of them. So my hands are staying warm now with this combination. Shifting is still a bit challenging but better than when using the bar end mitts. I have always had a problem keeping my feet warm but I think I have that resolved as well. I am wearing one pair of thick wool socks and leather shoes over them. So far that is doing the job but if needed I can always try using a plastic bag over my foot to block air from getting thru. For my legs I am using a pair of 32Heat “tights” and a pair of sweat pants over them. For my upper body I am wearing layers of a long sleeve undershirt, a regular long sleeve shirt with a pocket, a duck down filled coat and a hooded sweatshirt. This combination keeps me very warm. For my head I wear a ball cap or visor to help block the sun from my eyes and a stocking cap with built in earmuffs over the ball cap/visor. Lastly I use the sweatshirt hood over both to add warmth plus help hold the hat on my head when the wind is blowing. My head stays plenty warm as well with this combination. I also wear a pair of wrap around bubble type safety glasses which do a good job of keeping the air out of my eyes so basically only my nose, mouth, cheeks and chin are exposed to the air. I have not yet needed anything over my face but I do have a couple of various things I can use if I need to. I have to admit that rather then bundling up like this I would much prefer riding in shorts and a short sleeve shirt in 70 degree weather.”
I am in there somewhere!
Please feel free to leave a comment telling others what works for you keeping you warm while out riding in the cold. Notice I said out riding in the cold. We can do without the comments about riding in Florida, Arizona, Southern California, etc. or riding inside on a trainer where it is toasty warm. I am not addressing wimps here but real he men and women who are tough.
As they say, all others need not apply!
So bundle up …
And don’t forget to put on those long johns …
Do whatever it takes for you to keep warm enough and to …
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
There is good news for those who have been looking for the popular Nashbar Ragster sandals. They are once again being offered by BikeNasbar.com on their website. That being said I noticed that on both Amazon and Ebay they are still showing either “sold out” or “not available”.
The Ragster sandal is a lower cost sandal which is a good quality product. It is a SPD cycling footwear. They are definitely much more affordable than the well known and popular Shimano and Keen brands.
Right now the price is about $50 which they show is a sale price as their list price is about $56. When I bought mine a few years ago I got them on sale for about $35. I don’t know if such sales will be appearing in the future. We can only hope so. At least they are back available again and that is good news. BTW, HERE is a conversion chart to help with the shoe sizes.
HERE is a good article on cycling sandals.
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
Earlier today I received a pair of bar end mitts I had ordered a couple of days ago. I installed them after getting home from my daily ride, but I wasn’t feeling like going back out to try them. However, later on I decided to try them out. It is a good day for it as it is windy today and feels pretty cold as a result. They definitely made a difference as far as greatly reducing the wind I feel on my hands. In fact, I can’t say that I felt any wind on my hands so they are doing their intended job. I only wore a pair of wool gloves inside of them hoping that the wool gloves would be sufficient to keep my hands warm. They weren’t. This disappointed me as wearing anything more will be a little problematic as there just isn’t a whole lot of room inside of the bar end mitts. Having the bar end mitts installled presents problems as the handlebars are no longer accessable like they were before. I have to use the handlebars to lift my trike up and down out of the back of my truck. And using the locking brake lever is quite difficult now with the bar end mtts installed. I don’t know how much difference there is between brands, but these I bought just don’t allow much room inside. The brake levers are right up against the front of the bar end mitts making them harder to use. Also it would be best not to have my fingers come in contact with the bar end mitts when using the brakes as in doing so coldness is transferred via conduction. I have twist shifters and with the bar end shifters they are very difficult to use to shift gears. So the verdict is out at this point in time. I just wish they was a lot more room inside of them so that these issues were non-issues. If I have to use additional gloves or mittens on my hands to keep my hands warm using the bar end mitts is going to be even more problematic. I will let you know further down the road how it all works out. Meanwhile I hope to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
A FREE GIFT awaits you!
While viewing a Facebook page I came across some shirts being advertised for sale for recumbent trikers. They offer several different ones. One of them in particular caught my eye as I found it to be so applicable to me in my personal life. I am still going thru rehab physical therapy following my knee joint replacement surgeries. I wish I had one of these shirts to wear to the rehab therapy. I would like to see what kind of reaction I would get out of the staff there. Today is my 70th birthday and I have rehab in the morning. After today I have one more rehab session and I will be done. I will be glad when it is over as I can’t say that it is fun. I am not convinced that the rehab therapy was of all that much benefit and needed. Riding my tadpole trike is fun and I miss it. With winter upon us and arctic air making life pretty miserable trike riding isn’t happening. Did I mention that I miss riding my trike?
As I sit here in the warmth of my home it is 12 degrees F. outside with a wind chill factor of -2 degrees F. That is considerably warmer than it was when I first woke up this morning, but it is still way too cold for my liking. And it is not even winter yet … not officially anyway. Call me a wimp or whatever, but I find that the older I get the less motivated I am to go out riding in the winter time. Nowadays I much prefer to not go out riding if it is below about 35 degrees F. I used to go out riding when it was 20 degrees. The temperature is one thing … only one factor. Snow on the trail is quite another as I found that a tadpole trike won’t roll thru much snow. Unfortunately the trail I usually ride on (which is my favorite) is rarely ever plowed so riding on it is impossible.
I know some of you who read this blog don’t have to deal with ol’ man winter and can ride year around where you are at. And I know some of you live places where the winter weather is even worse than we have here in northern Indiana where I am at. And I know some of you are out riding thru the nasty winter weather. More power to you. You are a better man than me. 🙂
I reckon the goal for all of us is to do our best to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
I want to go riding!
A FREE GIFT awaits you!