Friday, April 28, 2006

The best cool-weather bike gloves

In the bike store last winter trying to pick out a pair of bike gloves, I was so conflicted that I finally picked this pair because of the word “Salsa” written on the back. Given the dearth of opportunities to dance the salsa, and my lack of desire to eat salsa, my life was looking pitifully salsa-less at the time, and I thought having “Salsa” written on the back of my hand would console me.

The cyclist / salesgirl who sold them to me also influenced me heavily because she said she didn’t get too hot in them. Cycling has the effect of making you rip off all your clothes if they’re not right. And by ‘right’ I mean they don’t cook you on the inside. Without all this specially designed gear they’ve invented, cycling would be a purgatory of constantly taking off and putting back on.

Even gloves can make your whole body feel too hot. If you take them off though, your hands freeze at the same time that your body’s overheating. I’m afraid that if I let my hands get cold, the arthritis that has been trying to get them will win.

Another feature of these gloves is that I can easily unhook one of them with my teeth and pull it off, without having to stop my bike. That is crucial since I need a bare hand to fish out a handkerchief every ten minutes -- another biking issue I’ve been meaning to complain about.

I would not recommend Salsa gloves for intensely cold climates, but for our Oregon winters and cool spring and fall mornings and our cold rain, these are perfect. I do not wear them only for cold protection, but for the padding in the palms and the protection of my hands in case I fall. These have Kevlar in them, a very tough material.

I keeping saying ‘these’ but what I really mean is 'it', since I’ve lost one of them. I just called the store asking if I could buy just one new glove, and they said no.

Has anybody seen my glove?

It looked like this, only for the right hand. Will return momentarily, and give you my consumer report on these winter cycling gloves, in case you’re shopping for a pair for yourself now that it's almost summer.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Helmet Light Possibly Confiscated by Aliens

Regarding my lost helmet light – I promised last time that I’d tell you how its loss is directly related to my UFO sighting of last January. Recall that I found someone else’s helmet light blinking away on the sidewalk at dusk, and gleefully snatched it up. That was my mistake. The owner might have retraced her ride in search of it. Or she might have taken the same route the next day on her way in to work, and if everyone else also left it lying there, she would have found it.

So now, my own helmet light has been snatched up in revenge. You take something, you lose something – that’s how it works. Not that it’s the same as stealing if you pick up a found object, but it will have the predictable karmic result. I know this is hard because sometimes you find something like a ten dollar bill and you think, “There’s no way I can find its rightful owner, and if I don’t pick this up, someone else will.” And you’d be right to think that. But how much sense does it make to base your actions on what someone else, some perfect stranger you’re not even going to see, might do? That’s like seeing a giant chocolate cake in the store and thinking, “If I don’t eat this, someone else will.”

If everyone left all lost objects exactly where they found them, most of them would eventually be reunited with their owners.

Come back for further spiritual guidance regarding how and why I lost my bike glove, which will include glove attributes and all consumer information pertinent to cyclists.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cosmic Loser Strikes Innocent Biker, Seizes Bike Equipment

I’m so annoyed! I lost one of my bike gloves. Too bad I don’t live in New York City, where someone patrols the street looking for lost gloves and then posts them on a website with time, date, and location. Click on this.

I’ve recently lost three bike things. That’s what happens when you lose something – you lose two more things. So if you lose one thing, just know that it’s coming. You can’t avoid it. Don’t try staying home and hiding everything. A better strategy is to behave carelessly with relatively unimportant items and hope that you lose one of those instead. I obviously neglected to try this, so I’m out three valuable possessions. I’m not sure it would work anyway because it may be that the Cosmic Loser is only satisfied with important items.

The first thing was my rain pants – REI black goretex rain pants that fit me perfectly, zippered up to the knee so that they slid right on over my shoes and jeans. I never got too hot or too cold in these rain pants. They cost me $70 dollars. I’m so MAD! I’m mad as HECK!

The second thing I lost was my helmet light – and I know exactly why that happened. It’s directly related to my recent experience with a UFO, and I will explain all that in the next episode so that you can avoid a similar fate. And the third thing I lost was the glove. The gloves are fabulous. I will tell you more about them later, and what happened to one of them. And no doubt you’re dying to know how one loses one’s pants, so I’ll explain that later too.

The day I bought the rain pants and the gloves was the day I completed my conversion to everyday, all weather cycling. Check back with me in a day or two for tips on finding and not losing the best bike equipment. Consider me your personal bike equipment researcher and spiritual advisor.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Equine Death du Plastique

Everyone at work had noticed the plastic lei of flowers lein around the horse as it lei on its side on the sidewalk. Various opinions were bantered about cubeland. “What does it mean? Is the horse dead?”
“It’s been dead for weeks. It bled to death after someone amputated that leg.”
“Oh stop.”
“It’s not a funeral wreath, it’s a wreath of triumph – like they give the horse that wins the Kentucky derby.”
“But it’s plastic.”
“It’s a plastic horse, isn’t it? Plastic horse, plastic wreath.”

The scene persisted through drastic changes of rain, sun and hail until……. on April 20th, that day which evil feels compelled to honor, both horse and wreath vanished into thin air, just like the last horse.

Now there are not one but two cables that once held horses to the horse ring in the sidewalk. I'll go forthwith in search of another horse in the neighborhood, whose existence was confided to me by the mail carrier.

Wait! Come baaaaaaaaack! I'm still alive!

Faithful readers. DON"T GIVE UP ON ME! I've been in the process of transferring to the Darth Vader of computers. After this, nothing will stop me from posting! Tune in tonight for the latest bike & horse news.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Flying Easter Eggs

You have to walk or pedal directly under this Easter for the full effect. You ain't never goina get it from a car. In fact you'd be likely to miss it altogether.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Latest Horse Pictures

Think not that I have forgotten about providing the horse pictures to go with this morning's posting. Neigh, my friends -- for they are there now. Scroll down, and behold. The technical difficulties, I have smited them.

Plastic Horse Update

In plastic horse news, the new horse is usually lying on its side. So much for its prancy-dancy, high-falutin, raised-hoof pose. Only got three legs left to stand on. Unlike the previous, low-brow horse, who was firmly planted on all four.

And are you ready for this? It’s pretty gorey, so brace yourself. If The Godfather was hard on you, you might want to close your eyes for a minute.

Yes, it’s true. Someone amputated one of the horse’s legs. And not the raised-hoof leg, but one of the other essential three – if you can believe such cruelty. There it lies, nearby – see? It happened on March 28th. Sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, but I’ve been real busy.

Since then, the horse can’t stand at all, but is always seen lying pitifully on its side. In addition, someone has had the poor taste to abscond with the leg. But the other day (April 4th, to be exact), some kind passerby found a way to make it stand up by propping it up against the curb. So I guess there’s one kind person left in the world.

And yes, the leg is still missing. Don't be fooled by that crack in the curb where the leg would be if it were still attached.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reward Time

You won’t find me dragging my bike out of mothballs and peeling off the cobwebs just in case of friendly weather. When spring happens, I’m already out there. In such glorious times, biking is 100% play, all the way to work and all the way back. Exercise? What’s that? Not some loathsome chore to be squeezed into a day that’s already chopped into too many bits.
Here’s my bike, propped up against the Broadway Bridge, stuffed with flowers for Lindi.