Best. Gloves. Ever.

As expected, school is keeping me too busy to post often.

Also as expected, fall is approaching, and I deemed it necessary to buy some new gloves so I'm ready when the cold finally decides to get here.

These are the gloves of choice. I just got a replacement pair from Colorado Cyclist (which inexplicably had the lowest price I could find, ~$42 delivered) because I lost one of my old pair at the end of last season.

What made those Wombats so great?
- Easy on/off. Just tug on the fingers. This is essential for the urban commuter, and even more so for the working cyclist. I think it helps that I wear a Large, even though according to Descente's numbers I should wear a Medium.
- Shell vs. insulation. Though I've tried only a couple other winter gloves, my beef with them was that they absorbed water and didn't block enough wind. The Wombat acts more like a rain shell than a cotton sweater. They're still plenty warm, as I believe they are somewhat insulated, but I find that generally, for the coastal Mid-Atlantic winter, windproofness is about the most important clothing feature, and the Wombat put the others to shame here.
- Versatility. In the thick of winter, when the forecast can vary dramatically over the course of a week, these are the only gloves I use. They work when it's pouring rain and 30°, or 0° and blowing hard, and even when it's 50° and just a bit windy. With a good pair of gloves, my whole body feels disproportionately warmer--that is, the gloves add more warmth-feel than one would think. These are definitely warm gloves, and on long rides I could see sweat becoming an issue, but I wore them on hilly 10-mile treks without a big problem.
- Long cuffs. This expands the cycling wardrobe because my wrists stay pretty warm even with a non-cycling jacket (e.g. a peacoat).
- The finger flap is a cool idea, but my trips were short enough and never in cold/wet enough weather to warrant their use very often. Nice to have when necessary, though., and they fold out of the way when not in use.
- Reflective Descente logo on the back of the hand helps with signaling safety.
- Classiness factor. They're not big and bulky like ski gloves. They may not win any fashion awards, either, but with commuting cycling already pretty dorky, a sleek black pair of gloves is nice.
- Solid construction. I wore my old pair for a year of commuting and late-night couriering without so much as a thread unraveling. Not a super-long test period, but a lot better than the Cannondale gloves I had, which ripped at the wrist after only a few weeks.

Why do these new Wombats seem like they'll rock even harder?
- Absorbent terry cloth thumb for wiping sweat away. One of my biggest problems with the old model.
- Grippier palm/thumb/index/middle finger area. These had been plain suede material, and now they have little grippy numbs somewhat like de-clawed Velcro, which would be a cool name for a rock band.
- Slight padding added to the meaty part of the palm. Lack of padding wasn't a big problem before, but it should make a nice addition.

Dave Moulton explains retro-love

Dave Moulton is a retired framebuilder who now writes (quite well), and has caught the blog bug.
His post explains why old stuff (most of the time) just plain works better, dammit. It's almost a manifesto for retro-grouchiness.

I just started driving a red Toyota pickup with a stick-shift, manual windows/locks, no built-in clock, no tachometer, no extended cab, and no 4WD. Just a simple, small truck, 3 years old. I thought for a while I'd miss things like keyless entry, power windows, and a clock, but I've adapted (and bought a stick-on clock) and now the truck seems totally complete. I wouldn't change a thing.

One rainy day a couple weeks ago, a guy came running into class about 20 minutes late, soaking wet. His power windows, he explained, had quit working as he was driving to school. He had to stop under an overpass and use some garbage bags to seal the windows as best he could. One of the other guys in class said, "That's why I stick with the roll-ups."

Don't get me wrong: I love technology, and an electronically-shifted bike would be a cool gizmo and I'd like to ride one for a few miles. But after that I'd hop back on my single-speed and remember that I only service my bike a few times a year, and, aside from the little light on the front, none of its components need batteries.