Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Extra Lap: Staying Warm

I drink alot of coffee. I know you all think you drink a lot of coffee too, but I actually drink a ridiculous amount of coffee. As a result I have all these ‘old-fashion’ coffees can. I say old-fashioned because these days it seems like a lot of coffee comes in plastic freeze dry bags. However they are not actually the ‘old-old-fashioned’ cans made of tin, but are the newer old fashioned cans of plastic.

I also do a lot of winter riding. I know you all think you do a lot of that too, and I am sure you do. However, with the exception of Lindsay, I think I got that one covered.

The problem I have encountered (drum roll please) is I seem to have a time limit of 3-hours before my hands expire. That is, I don’t seem to be able to keep my hands warm after 3-hours. I bumped into Lindsay the other day and we got around to disscussing Arrowhead and winter riding in general. He suggested the Expedition Pogies from Epic Designs, which are arguably the best bar mitts on the planet, but they might be a bit of overkill for a 5-hour Winterpeg ride. What to do?

I have tried the old MEC perogies, which definitely helped keep the cold out, but were exceedingly annoying because they flopped around and were so hard to get in and out of. I have used chemical heating packs, which are also helpful, but run out of steam just when I need them most. I just recently started using the exothermal packs, which work too well and don’t work long enough. So I was thinking about all this one day while warming my hands with a cup of coffee when it hit me. After a little work with a drill, a jig saw and some tape I came up with this.

I might look like an idiot (ask me if I care) but my hands were at least 50% warmer and comparatively dry.

With some minor modifications and adjustments I think these ‘hand shields’ will become a permanent part of my winter setup.

Better to be smart and warm then stupid and cool.


I just found "Joe's Jugs" but I think you will agree that Dave's Hand Shields look cooler and warmer at the same time.

Other Snow Biking Ideas

Blue Collar Mountain Biking

ATV Accessories - Hand Mitts

Apocalypse Design
Expedition Pogies


  1. I prefer plastic milk jugs....and real coffee...;)!

    ....and podium our Olympic team is dominating 4th and 5th....sheesh!

  2. Ya I was going to try the milk jug thing and even when so far as to buy two 4 litre jugs, but hell that is a lot of milk to put down… especially if you are lactose intolerant. Ya the coffee is the shits but it is as cheap as dirt and tastes better. As for 4th and 5th we have 30-million people and no money. “They” have 300-million sports fans and drink expensive coffee.

  3. You could probably fashion some booties, a cup and a helmet too...Weave some empty coffee jugs together and make a disc for your wheel.
    Or a whole set of downhill armour/
    I laugh with you, not at you.
    On this one at least ;)

  4. Funny, my hands are the last thing to get cold when riding.. but I may have froze them bad enough that they are always numb!

    Good work/post, and I see some spd's... thought you were an eggbeater kind of guy?

  5. Eggs rock for racing but have the durability of tissue paper. They are super light (even the cheap ones) and have the best mud clearance of any pedal, but have the durability of tissue paper. XT/XTR and the like are – by far – the best training pedals in the world. They are bomb proof!

  6. I ditched Eggs this year. COst me the Wednesday series LY. Just picked up some new Look MTB. I dig the coffee tin idea. Next year I may put some flat bars on the cross bike so I can try it out.

  7. Thank you! If you dig I will customize a set for you for FREE! (I have to get ride of these cans some how ;). The first ride was good but it has been so warm it is hard to tell if they make a difference. The colder the ride the more of a difference they seem to be making. Go figure?!