Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another Sleepless Night

I was awake again this morning around 4am or so. I stared at the alarm clock trying to rationalize my desire to fall back asleep figuring that another 45 minutes would do me some good considering that I had been up a number of other times during the night. I finally gave up on the whole idea of sleeping anymore when the best I would have done would have been 30 minutes.Out of bed, shower, pack the panniers, make a half pot of coffee, fill the commuter mug and out the door... Normal routine -30 minutes. Rode by the bank just after 5 and the temperature said 54 degrees.

More and more my mind has been occupied with thoughts about how I am going to keep up the routine of riding as the mornings get cooler. It now takes more thought about clothing. Thoughts about clothing that I really don't have.Summer has been easy. I bought at least 5 pairs of new cycling shorts this year. I got cheap ones since that is really all I need to ride to and from work. Over the last couple of years since switching entirely to Brooks saddles, I have found that with a good pair of regular shorts, I can be comfortable riding a bike up to a point. But, I really do prefer to ride in cycling shorts though.

With enough shorts, and lots of old tee shirts, getting dressed for my commute has been easy.I would hardly call it chilly outside, but cool enough for me to have been thinking of what I might find for some warmer clothing options.Yesterday, Anika the kids and I attempted a shopping trip around town in hopes of finding an actual stocking Ibex dealer. I was really thinking that I would have liked to have found some place that offers a good selection of wool clothing including the possibility of a soft shell.

A trip to Midwest Mountaineering and Hoigaards revealed nothing. Interestingly enough, Midwest Mountaineering is connected to the Hub Coop and Hoigaards claims to be a bike shop, yet neither appear to carry much for cycling related clothing. Even with a trip to REI on the way home, the whole outing was a complete bust.Perhaps my shopping adventure is too early... I'm not trying to get too excited. I just want to be prepared with a selection of clothing to prolong my commuting. I figure being comfortable will be one of the keys in success in doing so.

So last night, I spent entirely too much time combing the web looking for "deals" on good quality clothing. How frustrating... I HATE shopping. I'm more inclined to pick up a mouse to do my research, but prefer to walk into a store to buy stuff. But, I wanted wool. So, I turned to the web and placed a number of different orders. I found some Ibex stuff at one place for a very good price, but colors were limited. I had to order a pair of Ibex knickers from REI, and I ordered an Ibex jacket and knee warmers direct from Ibex today. So, as the stuff comes in, we will see if it is as nice as I hope.

In other cycling related news, I rebuilt the front wheel on the Quickbeam with a new Shimano Dynamo thanks again to Hiawatha Cyclery. Compared to what felt like a death ride on Friday, things felt much better today. Not sure if it was the hub or general fatigue level.


verlaine said...

I don't think a person really even needs "nice" clothing. I bike commuted the last two winters without spending much money at all. It's more about wicking than beating the cold.

I just wore a pair of lined spandex pants with some cheap Target wicking long underwear and then a t-shirt and then a Columbia ski jacket and normal gloves.

The only place I found that I couldn't skimp was with shoes. I tried heavy socks and electric heated socks and then those pocket chemical heaters, and nothing worked so I spent $100 on some ordinary nice winter boots with felt liners because I just run flat pedals, and it worked like a charm.

Wicking underlayers are needed. My commute is about 9 miles and I would warm up by the 2nd mile and then would be sweating profusely by the end. That really sucks when it''s below zero.

The only need to get big-name gear is you want to appear stylish. I just wore almost what a hunter wears and probably looked like an idiot but I saved money and stayed very comfy.

At least until I hit an ice patch on the Greenway and hit the ground hard enough to damage a bursal sac and develop bursitis. That kind of put me off winter biking because it lingered for months, but it was unrelated to clothing choice and more related to inattentiveness.

Anonymous said...

Trail Mark at the Galleria in Edina stocks a bunch of Ibex gear. It's not the cheapest store but at least you can see how the Ibex gear fits (and maybe find better deals elsewhere).

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