Monday, 22 April 2013

Numb and/or cold fingers

Do you have problems with numb and/or cold fingers? I do! My latest effective solution to this problem comes from psychotherapy. You may know the term "progressive muscle relaxation" (PMR). If not, goggle it. It's an exercise in tensing and relaxing individual muscles of your body. PMR in itself is a good relaxing technique to start or end a day of cycling. But it's also very effective when applied to your numb or cold fingers. It's simple:

1. Tense or squeeze your fingers and/or fist. You can do this either by holding to the handlebar or not, keeping the fingers straight or bent in the fist. Whatever turns out better for you.
2. Keep your fingers tensed for 7 to 10 seconds.
3. Slowly relax the tensed muscles (in 5 to 10 seconds).
4. Keep the hand relaxed for another 5 to 10 seconds.
5. Repeat points 1,2,3,4 several times. 5 repeats should do in most cases.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Rain shell gloves

On my other blog (ultralightcycling) I tried to give some advice about cycling in the rain. And I failed miserably! So, the final solution to cycling in rain is still pending. In the meantime we must satisfy ourselves with partial solutions.
I have here a solution for your hands; the solution that is both effective and fulfills the rigorous minimalist requirements of ultralightcycling. The weight of a pair of such gloves is 2 g. They are also inexpensive, costing about 2 Euro cents. Here's what to do:

1.      Bend an old spoke to form a U.
2.      Take a plastic envelope of a magazine (European A4 size).
3.      Heat the spoke over a heat source.
4.      With the heated spoke make three cuts in the plastic to make a cubist's approximation of a glove.
5.      If you have two hands, repeat the procedure 2,3,4 once again.
6.      Wait for a rainy day, put the plastic gloves on (optionally over regular gloves), tuck them under your sleeves and enjoy the feeling of dry hands while cycling in rain.

You might have some problems with condensation. To overcome them I suggest to make few holes on the palm side of the plastic gloves and to wear only cycling gloves (i.e. not full-finger gloves) under the plastic ones. If the plastic gloves start to tear (this usually happens in the corner between thumb and index finger)
they can be repaired with any heat source.
Bent spoke with umbrella tips glued to the ends.

Plastic cover of a magazine.

1-2-3 and your plastic glove is ready-made.

Your plastic glove in action
... and wears better then the usual plastic glove from petrol station of fruit-stand in supermarkets.