Gloves challenge my natural tendencies, but their absence can cause my body grief. That kid who doesn’t want to bother with a jacket still lives strong in my inner world, and she is interested in gloves even less. I may ride an entire summer without them unless I’ve been leaning into the handlebars enough to need the padding. Winter is different.
I’ve trained myself to look at a weather report before I walk out the door, not because it is natural to me to care, but because I’ve done so many things that require knowing, And the reason I wear gloves is to manage that Raynaud’s diagnosis I had sometime back. Based on what other people with that same diagnosis suffer through, I have a mild case, really mild. But, I still have a weak grip, lower O2 readings from a finger sensor, constantly cold hands and feet, and I will suffer frostbite before other people experiencing the same conditions. So, while I have low interest in the bother of covering my hands, I have high interest in the functionality. As soon as the temps drop, forgetting my gloves can prevent me from riding. One recent cool day, I forgot to retrieve my bike gloves from the clean laundry and I salvaged the ride by covering my hands in a thick pair of Russ’ boot socks that were in the car to be donated. I put my thumb in the heel. Fortunately, my sock clubbed hands didn’t cause me to wreck.
I’ve been known to wear everyday gloves for cycling sometimes too. For everyday use, I tend to like microfiber, but microfiber is a guilty pleasure. I’ll wear natural fibers when I can to avoid contributing to microplastics pollution that is so pervasive, it’s even in our bodies. That has me seeking Merinos like Smartwool first (but not their blends). The Smartwool blend I bought recently felt fine, a comfortable step above department store knit gloves, but, the fibers loosened and they looked old after the first wash. They were a merino synthetic blend, but after that first wash, they looked like old separating angora. How practical are gloves that don’t stand up to washing? I wanted to take them back because Smartwool isn’t low cost, but they looked like I had used them for months. So, the very reason I wanted to take them back, was the same reason that I didn’t actually. I didn’t want to look at the clerk’s face when I said they’d only been through a single wearing and washing.
The cycling gloves in the photo are my everyday riding gloves right now. What I like about the Wiretap body geometry gel gloves are the fit, the fabric, and the padding. The fit is nice. The fabric suits me throughout the wide range of the temperatures in which I ride. They keep my hands warm enough, and not too hot with good breathability. The pads are firm and they’re lasting well.
What I don’t like about these gloves is that they’re not good at the very thing they’re named for. They’re called Wiretap because of threads running through the fingertips that are supposed to make contact and allow the use of screens without taking off the gloves. But, I do have to take them off to use my phone. I had to take them off when they were new too. I rub and rotate and rub and the phone doesn’t respond, sometimes not at all, sometimes not consistently. Every time I miss a phone call or don’t get a picture of the biggest rafter of turkeys I’ve ever seen, I wish I was wearing fingerless gloves, which is crazy. Fingerless gloves expose the very thing I need to be keeping warm. This has been my experience with every pair of gloves I’ve had that were intended to work with phones while you’re wearing them. So, I just ignore the feature when deciding to buy a new pair. It is never a factor in my buying decision. I buy the gloves that look like they will give the best utility in every other aspect, and if them claim to work with screened devices, well, that won’t stop me from buying, but it won’t be an incentive either. If I ever get a pair that does work, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.
Fantasy Island for my gloves would be that I never have to keep up with any. When my hands need the warmth and padding, it will just grow out from my skin, silky and minklike, the same way Wolverine grows those frightful claws.