Some people have a drawer full of socks. I have a drawer full of women’s cycling gloves. (OK — I have a drawer full of socks, too.)
I just happened to be pawing through that drawer this weekend. One of those weekends when the sun said warm but the 25 mph north wind said spring’s not here yet. What a variety I’ve accumulated over the years. Am I tempted to “retire” any of these gloves? No way. Cold hands are a deal buster for a bike ride, so I do my best to avoid that scenario.
What’s in the pile? An ancient pair of LL Bean® Gore-Tex® gloves, complete with Polarfleece® liners that can be worn by themselves. The Gore-Tex shell lost its waterproofing years ago and the liners are pocked with holes, but I wouldn’t give them up for anything. Hey — these were my first “real” cold weather gloves. If nothing else, they warm my heart.
Moving forward in the timeline, there’s a veritable feast of GORE® BIKE WEAR™ gloves, each with WIndstopper®; Toko®, which became Yoko® (or is it the other way around) — gloves spawned from the cross country ski side of sports and a sampling of not so well known brands.
Some have lots of insulation, others less (think 25 and sunny versus 35 and cloudy). Some are light enough to be worn over short fingered gloves and then crammed in a back pocket when I don’t need them. Some are simply windproof with no insulation at all. Over time and miles, I’ve learned to choose gloves like a master chef chooses seasonings.
Ever bungle around trying to eat a Gu® when you’re bundled up from head to toe and there’s no way you’re going to stop riding? Here’s my tip of the day: first, unzip your jacket about 7 or 8 inches; then, if you’re right handed, use your teeth (gently, please) to remove that glove. Stuff the glove in your open jacket — a placeholder for a while. Now, go for the Gu. Follow the instructions in reverse when done. I learned this after losing one of my favorite gloves. I thought it was snugged away in my back pocket. Still looking for that glove on the road…