|You like-a the gel? I like-a the gel.|
In his recent excellent book, Just Ride, Grant Petersen has a chapter called "Gloves: the least necessary accessory." Now, he truly knows more in his little toe about bicycles and riding than I do in my whole body, but sometimes I like riding with gloves. Sometimes they do not seem like a needless affectation to me, a spurious accessory foisted on an unsuspecting bicycling public by corporate-funded bike racers. So I reflected on the facts of my usage of them, and, as always, will try to let them speak for themselves.
What are gloves (allegedly) good for?
cold weather, accident protection, comfort, sweat drip removal
Do they actually accomplish these?
Cold weather: check, but I don't experience that very often
Accident protection? A couple times when I crashed, they performed very well in protecting my hands and palms, particularly in a mountain bike crash on gravel, when many other parts of me fared much worse.
Do I use ever them:
for commuting? No, never
for grocery-getting? No, never
coffeeneuring? No, never
city road rides? Usually, for the longer ones, anyway, I think the ride is more comfortable
mountain biking? Always
Do I wash them? Once in a while, yes. Usually when the salt and grime becomes visible.
Are there other less necessary bicycle accessories? Surely!
What about: spoke cards? handlebar tassels? pie plates? lawyer lips?