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Friday, December 4, 2009

Encounters with Rantwick, episode ten: Industrial Bright And Tragic

My cycling specific garb for winter riding has been joined by several bits of industrial work wear lately, three bits to be precise. One thing I've begun wearing only recently is a pair of clear safety glasses:





I really like my clear goggles for cold weather riding, but that's the problem. This year it has become dark during my commute without becoming cold enough to warrant the goggles, which can be quite warm when you're working much. So, I tried the clear safety glasses, and I must say I quite like them.

The next item is one that I haven't really felt the need to use until recently. My work has had me commute to some new and different locations lately, some of which force me to ride on some roads that most sensible cyclists would rather avoid. I wasn't feeling quite visible enough some of the time on these roads, so I added a reflective vest to my usual getup:




I must say that I like what the vest does, but I hate wearing it. It makes me feel like a nerd, which is totally stupid because Mutant Winter with her pink cables and plastic tub have already completely established that I AM a nerd, so why should I care? Perhaps I attach more importance to clothing; after all "clothes make the man", right? If that's true, do "gloves make the hands"?

I've never really believed that specialty mitts or gloves, like "lobster claws" and stuff like that were necessary for winter riding, as evidenced by the stuff I was forced to retire thanks to being worn out:


I've only had those $5 gloves for about a month! I must have super strong thumbs. Damn video games!

I came across my replacements when I was at a work wear place buying jeans. I am really excited about these (not a nerd. right.) because they may well be the perfect winter cycling glove despite the fact that they were not designed for the purpose:



They are fuzzy on the inside, the backs are a knit material and the palms and fingers are rubberized. They are extremely grippy on the handlebars regardless of weather conditions. Last but not least, they are really hi-vis! I have read Steve A and others talk about lights to make wrists or hands visible so that their signals don't get missed; these wouldn't do in the summer of course, but in the dark of winter when these things might matter most, I think they are a pretty darn good solution. Last but not least, they were $16. But never mind all that. These things make me look cool, because they make my hands and fingers look like those of Master Shake:



If you don't know who Master Shake is, shame on you. You are so un-cool. I didn't know who he was either, but a young colleague of mine said my hands looked like his in those gloves, so I looked him up. I don't get the channel needed to watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but I really wish I did... it seems like my kind of strangeness.

OK, where was I? Ah yes, I was stylin' in my industrial evolution:



So, I am Industrial Bright and lookin' special. Where's the Tragic? I was in my full industrial bright splendour when the following occurred:



The tragedy lies not in the fact that the truck driver didn't like me being where I was and using his air horn. The tragedy is that for reasons I can't explain, I lost my temper and flipped him off very clearly with my new hi-vis finger held high for his rear-view mirror. He didn't miss that signal, because he touched his brakes for no reason while I did it, like he might stop for a chat. I know lots of cyclists would consider that pretty normal, but it isn't for me. That was the first time in my many years of driving and cycling that I have ever given someone the bird, and therein lies the tragedy. I pride myself on keeping my cool and refraining from reacting to stuff like that dude's air horn. Civility is important and as my Mother would say, two wrongs don't make a right.


Keep Yer Cool. Until Next Time,


R A N T W I C K

7 comments:

Steve A said...

Did he have an "OU" sticker on that truck. Well, at least he made a full lane change to pass. You were probably surprised - most professional drivers have a lot more class.

Steve A said...

Or maybe he reads your blog...

Rantwick said...

Steve - I was surprised,and made that very same remark about professional drivers when I talked about it at work. As Keri haspointed out, dumptruck drivers get paid by the load, and as a result can be a little more agressive...

[unesinge]

Apertome said...

Haha, very fun post, I was wishing I had something more than my normal glasses to protect my eyes this morning. May have to see if I can get a pair of safety glasses to fit over them, that will up my already-high nerd factor. I dig the bright gloves, too.

Anonymous said...

Nice product testing. Over at Open Bicycle they roll a bit differently...

http://openbicycle.com/2009/12/01/we-light-our-hands-on-fire-so-you-dont-have-to/

Too bad London can't create a good east/west bike path.

Steve A said...

There truly IS interconnectedness in the Internet Blogosphere. My own post for today, entirely by coincidence, has safety glasses AND high vis in it, albeit from a totally different POV than your post.

I also have another post that I'll probably save until tomorrow, that talks about a jerky driver. Again, that post comes at that same topic as Rantwick from a different direction. Ironically, it involves my "OU" buddy that I encountered again today after I made that morning comment.

Chandra said...

rantwick,
if u had kept the lobster, the dump truck driver may not have realized you was givin' him the finger!

what a flat-tire :(

i like that vest and the cool gloves!

be safe out there!

peace :)

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