Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Three Bears of Warm Fuzziness

Regarding the shoe covers I discussed last week: Someone wrote in with a link to a mail-order site that carried this very thing, after I just finished telling you they’d been discontinued. Confused, I emailed Burley. Burley wrote back saying they had exactly one pair left, size small. (No word about why they decided to stop making them.) So, the mail-order site may still carry them, but they won’t for long, since the source has dried up.

As for the Novara rainpants, you can get them at REI. They usually cost around forty dollars.

My commitment to riding shifted up several notches when I obtained these three essentials: the booties, the rain pants, and the helmet cover. Until then, I just didn’t realize how miserable I was. Or why. I’d lived in Oregon so long that like the boiling frog, I had become accustomed to the unacceptable.

When I first arrived in 1974, I’d just come from a country where people run for cover at the first raindrop, and scramble urgently for newspaper, briefcase, or bag of groceries -- anything at all -- to hold over their head, as if the rain were going to bore holes through their scalp. The natives of that land believe to this day that the common cold and just about any other malady you can name is caused by foolishly letting your head become damp while in the path of moving air.

I noticed the people here didn’t even use umbrellas. I wanted to be like them. I thought it was un-Oregonian to mind drips on your head. So I learned to ignore the rain. It helped that I have duck hair, which repels the first gallon or so that falls on it. It also helped that Oregon rain wasn’t really rain, then – it was mist. Now, however -- now that we’ve screwed around with the world’s weather -- it’s serious rain at least half the time. Now I’m older. Now I’m less willing to be miserable when an alternative is available. Now I mind drips on my head. Misery is not my friend.

If you’ve been reading my blog since I started this project, you may recall that I didn’t make it through the first winter on my bike. I gave up in November. The second year, I got these three items, and winter came and went without daunting me. Tomorrow I will present: The Helmet Cover. Up until I got the helmet cover, I thought that the few holes in my helmet didn’t matter. I was wrong. Holes matter.

2 Comments:

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Todd Waddell said...

Just came along this page from the Center for Appropriate Transportation in Eugene, OR.

Looks like they sell booties based on the Burley pattern.

 
At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Todd Waddell said...

oops, might help if I included the link:

http://www.catoregon.org/raingear.htm

 

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