Wednesday, November 16, 2016

back to the bike and dressing for the weather

After two weeks on tour, during which I enjoyed a fair bit of awlking but did not ride a bicycle once, I'm glad to be back home with my Sweetie, the cats and my bikes.
However, I've also com home to a sudden drop in temperatures, and making the adjustment to late fall/early winter is proving a little difficult.
I'm looking forward to a dry day tomorrow during which I'll be commuting to a couple of Hebrew students and running some lovely urban errands by bike. Wool socks and underlayers will be the order of the day.

Speaking of synthetic fibers,  Patagonia finally admits, after years of making outdoor clothing using new and recycled synthetic fibers, that there just might be a little problem with that.
I sort of gave up on most synthetics years ago, after realizing that (a) if I'm not allergic to wool there's no reason to avoid it; and (b) cotton still feels delightful next to the skin in all but the coldest weather. Plus, wool socks are the nicest things I can do to my feet.
But Patagonia, Rapha and a host of other chi-chi clothing companies still push the plastics, I guess because they can. So if you're contemplating buying Yet Another Synthetic Fleece this year, reconsider and maybe look for something made of natural fibers instead. Extra points if you scavenge instead of shop.

Speaking of scavenging -- don't be squeamish! If you spot a wool garment soaking in the rain because it's been sitting in a "free" box for a week, it can still be taken home, cleaned and used. I carry an extra plastic bag with me for just this purpose and scored a Pendleton wool shirt that way. It was a little big for me and missing most of its buttons. Machine washing in hot water and machine drying, plus replacement buttons, has turned this into a winter shirt I wear a lot when the weather turns cold.
No smell, no stains, no problems.

So tomorrow I'll head out and see what I can find. No pix for awhile, because the camera that my friend scored for free and gave me a decade ago has pretty much died and I don't have another camera yet. Be patient. Nice photos will return.

Happy riding, and bundle up. Winter is coming.
(Below: wool cycling cap by Kucharik of California. Made in USA, fits under most bike helmets; sometimes can be found discounted on eBay from time to time. Merino wool is soft and long-lasting.)

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