So, in fact, I spent $214.62 on three pairs of gloves (meaning $71.54/pair). I don't know if that makes it sound better or worse: one huge splurge versus three large splurges? I dunno. And the gloves aren't even people gloves; they're bike gloves.
These fancy bike gloves are more than just a fabulous conversation piece (although we've certainly had a lot of other bike riders strike up conversations with us to ask us how they work). And they're more than just trend-setting style accessories (although we certainly do turn a lot of heads).
No, these bike gloves are capital investments. They're going to help my family keep riding through cold weather. And that's going to save us some serious money on commuting costs.
How much money will that save us? Well, of course it's hard to tell. For the past two years, our one-car family has spent about $700/year on gasoline. That doesn't include the amount I spent in rental cars, which were reimbursed by the places that invited me to give talks, but it does include a vacation trip from Pennsylvania to Minnesota (and back, of course), and a few trips down to Virginia, and all of our local travel.
Well, that $700 includes all of our local car travel. But we do a lot of local non-car travel. For example, our typical week includes
- weekly drum lessons (2.4 miles away),
- daily boxing practice (2.2 miles away),
- weekly food shelter (2.1 miles away), and
- weekly speech therapy (2.1 miles away).
Not only that, but the bikes are time savers for us as parents. We don't escort the kids ourselves to most places; it's a great amount of freedom to be able to kiss the boys good-bye as they head out the door for their daily boxing lessons, and then sit down to finish a blog post. No sitting in evening rush-hour traffic for me!
All this is to say, biking matters a lot to us now, for reasons financial and fitness and other.
|N-son demonstrates how the hands slide right in. Toasty!|
I got myself a pair of these mitts (or rather, I got the SPDM a pair) in mid-October, and immediately the boys developed a severe case of jealousy. Which was exactly what I wanted, because that was their birthday present when N-son's birthday rolled around in November. By the time they unwrapped their gifts, they were all primed to be delighted. The boys' brand new Ride-Your-Bikes-all-Winter-Long-Bike-Mitts were a great frugal torture device, disguised as a present. You're welcome, boys!
Questions we've gotten from others:
- Can you get your hands out quickly if you need to signal? Yes, no problem.
- Do they actually keep your hands warm? Actually, sometimes my hands start getting sweaty. The nice thing about these compared to regular gloves is that, to cool off, you just take your hands off the handlebars momentarily. I haven't needed additional gloves yet, although if it gets much colder I might wear gloves under the bar mitts (vah), because the bike handlebars conduct cold fairly well.
- Can you get your hand back in quickly? Almost always, yes. I ordered the largest size just to make entrance and exit easy. Sometimes if I signal and then have to brake right away, I can't quite get my hand back in in time (that's happened two or three times in as many months). But they're soft enough that even when I didn't get my hand in quickly, I could grab the brakes even through the mitts.
- Where did you get them? It's possible to order them online, but I like our local bike shop so much that I had them order the three pairs, and bought the mitts from them.
- What does your dog think about them? He's quite sad about them. One of his very favorite chew toys is when he discovers yet another pair of new $75 bike gloves that my non-miser husband purchases occasionally, apparently just for the dining pleasure of the dog. Now the poor dog has nothing fancy to eat.