Yes, it’s that time of year again. I’m out there riding around in what passes for cold weather here in the suburbs of Hell, and things are, well cold as Hell.
There is a saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather just improper clothing for the weather. I want to tell you that finding the proper clothing to wear while riding a bicycle in the winter in this area is like looking for a needle in a haystack, when you have several haystacks in several fields and you aren’t even sure you’re in the right field. I’m not saying there isn’t any cold weather gear here, I’m saying that selection is rather limited if your budget is limited. This isn’t Portland with a bike store just about on every corner (across from the coffee shop) and the LBS here don’t cater to the commuting crowd, because the 8 or 9 of us just don’t constitute a “crowd”. Finding commuter-specific gear is a challenge. Finding gloves that let me use the controls of the bike for something other than a grab handle is the biggest challenge of all here in the MetroMess.
So, here’s the call: I need certain items of cold-weather gear that I just can’t get in the DFW area. I have the long underwear and the long-sleeved jersey areas covered, I’m getting a cheap MX helmet to mod into a winter bicycling helmet so that’s covered, what I’m having difficulty finding are tights and warm bike gloves that fit my short, fat fingers. I wear a 9 1/2 glove in US military sizing, a M in US civilian sizing and a XXL in Chinese import sizing. My winter gloves adapted from other uses seem to have about a 2 year life here in TX, usually the back of the right index finger seems to wear out letting in the cold but the rest of the glove looks fine. Tights around here are mostly for women’s use, tights for men are like hen’s teeth. In tights I wear whatever fits a 36-38 waist. Most of the tights I have now started as basic black but they have faded to dark blue or a warm chocolate brown, and I wouldn’t mind a safety lime pair. I don’t like looking like a reject from Who Wants to be a Superhero but given a choice between that or getting killed, I’ll be a fashion martyr over being a real martyr.
If you have solutions to these problems please leave a comment with your e-mail addy so I can take the conversation private.