Riding for Quarters / Bar Mitts

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Yesterday I was on the fence about whether to go riding outside or inside.  It was in the 20’s and the wind was howling from the North.  I went out into the garage and decided to brave it.

I had ordered Trudi some Bar Mitts for Christmas, but they didn’t come her size, they came large, so I decided to try them.  Bar Mitts were showing at the expo at Jinglecross and since they were supporting cross, I figured to give them a try.  Vincent had told me about them and he had said that you can ride down to near freezing with nearly bare hands.   I called him for advise of glove thickness.

Anyway, they are super easy to install and off I went.  The one thing about them, well there are two things.  The major thing is that you have to watch yourself in crosswinds.  These guys have a significant aspect exposed to the wind.  Like you have little sails on your bars.  So when the wind is blowing at 25 mph it really isn’t a good idea to remove a hand from the bars.  And never remove both hands.  That would crash you.  Bar Mitt themselves warn about this.

The 2nd thing is that you have to be aware that you have your hands in little pouches.  This isn’t such a big deal.  You just have to pull your hands back to get them out.  It gets second nature pretty quickly.

Anyway, they are great for cold riding.  I have so much stuff on my bike nowadays it looks so dorky.  And, I have to say, nothing looks much dorkier than these neoprene covers on my levers.  But they work.  Really well.  I ended up riding nearly 3 hours, which would have been impossible without them.  I should probably get some for my MTB.  Maybe I’ll call them and see if I can work out a deal?

Anyway, I started East, with crosswind.  It was way too hard to ride against.  Pretty early on I decided I’d ride to Lawrence on pavement, get a cup of coffee and head home.  Seemed reasonable.

Right outside Topeka, on the shoulder I saw a couple quarters.  I stopped to pick them up and it was a quarter bonanza.  I’m not sure how they all got out in such a confined area, but there were 25 quarters laying on the road.  This was the 2nd time I’ve found a bunch of change out riding.  The first time it was much more appreciated.  I wrote about that here.   Anyway, it kind of made the day.  I’m not sure why it is, but finding a free $6 seems like a bigger deal than working for it and getting a check.  It just seems better, maybe because it is unexpected.

When I was stopped, I called Brian to see if he wanted to meet up.  He is selling his car and said he had to show it.  He said we could meet up today to ride.  That ain’t happening.   So, I was solo.

I ended up riding 55 miles, which twice the 1 mile for every degree winter rule. (I explain “the rule” a little more in this post.)  It was 27, so all I needed to do was 27 miles.  But, I doubled it up, which was nice.

It finally snowed last night.  Pretty much the first snowfall of the year.  But, it didn’t snow as much as predicted.  It hardly snowed a couple inches, but they are predicting more later this morning.  I haven’t been out, but it was icing at midnight, so if the concrete is covered with ice, I’m probably not riding outside today.  If it isn’t, then I’m going to brave it, even though the wind is supposed to be blowing close to 40 later.  I sort of like riding on the road in big winds, it makes it interesting.

Okay, I have some bike work to do too.  I got some new Di2 levers that accept the sprinter shifter plugs, so I’m changing the shifters on my cross bikes.  That is a hassle since I have to chance the brake cables at the same time.  I guess I should get to work.

Quarters on the road.

Quarters on the road.

Final booty.

Final booty.

Bar Mitts. They allow you to ride down to just about any temperature I'd guess.

Bar Mitts. They allow you to ride down to just about any temperature I’d guess.


14 thoughts on “Riding for Quarters / Bar Mitts

  1. Carl

    Every time I see loose quarters, I feel like there’s a meth-head who just ripped off a parking meter.

    BTW – if you are not too particular about brands, ebay scooter bar mitts are like 1/5 the price. Work great.

    1. Mark

      How many of you are riding Made in the USA frames? I am! 😀

      I’m sure Ward and his wife are great people. However, I paid less than half the cost of their product for what I “hope” is something that will serve the same purpose this winter.. With the money saved I bought 2 brake rotors for a back-up mtb and a pair of brake pads for my commuter….I need all of those things and by going the route that I did I got them for a price that serves me and my family best. You see, the American(s) that I must support first are myself and family. I’m sorry that I chose to keep more of my hard earned money in my own pocket this go around but that’s just how it is.

  2. Winter sux

    … or just call and mooch like usual.

    Or pay with the money you find, or the iPhone you find and sell.

    The beat goes on.

    1. Steve Tilford Post author

      Winter – I like your email account address – winterblowme@gmail.com. One nice thing about being anonymous is allowing imagination create. “A person” is not so imaginative. Call and mooch? Is that how you see it? Or pay with the money I find? They cost way more than $6.25. Maybe I’ll just put that in the piggy bank and buy a set for MTB when I have enough. Is that a better plan? Hope you had a nice Christmas!

    2. Jeff

      The amount of exposure any product receives on this blog is worth far more in advertising fees than the cost of a pair of mitts. Mooching? I don’t see it that way.

  3. Gavin OGrady

    Hey Steve. Just a small tip if you are mixing 10 & 11 spd Di2…. Changing shifters is not supposed to matter. But if yer mixing say a 10 spd front and 11spd rear derailleur, DO NOT do any firmware updates with the bike hooked up to the computer/software. You may find that the derailleurs don’t work anymore! Originally you could mix and match, but then the software was updated and only works when the derailleurs are both 10spd OR 11spd.

    1. Krakatoa East of Java

      Never in my wildest nightmares did I anticipate ever having to use the term “firmware” in a discussion about drivetrain parts for a bike. Sorry guys, but I’m going to stay firmly “old school” and stick to human-powered gear changes.

      BTW, Steve, why’d you close the comments on cross natz? Did Derek from USAC call and give you a verbal beat-down? Funny that you have to fill-out a W-9 for a fucking $75 payout!

  4. Steve Hassenzahl

    I have found money on the side of the road while out running several times. Last time it was three crisp $100 bills. It was such a large amount I went back and put up a sign saying something of value had been found there but no one ever called to claim the money. I ended up giving it to the local food cooperative for needy people. It just seemed like the right thing to do with such a large amount.

  5. Mark G

    One times riding down the road I noticed a ratchet on the ground, kept going then thought wait a minute, that was a snap on, turned around and picked up. Still in my tool box 25 yrs later, finders keepers

  6. Andy

    Lots of good bar mitt and pogie makers around these days.
    Andrew the Maker in Kansas City custom made mine a few years ago.

    Also just bought the wife some nice ones from Portland Pogies!


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