First Report On ATV Handlebar Mittens (long)

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Gerald Muffolet

Looking at and search for "ATV neoprene mitts", the picture looks like the
mitts would fit on a bike with bars like the X-eyed line of bikes. I did a lot of shopping and found
that maybe my Aero could accept the mitts. The reason I did not go with the cheaper water-repellent
outer shell and soft, warm acrylic shearling lining, was better wind and cold protection of the
neoprene. I wanted the mitts to work from temperatures of 28 degrees through 55 degrees without
having the problems of multiple bulky glove removal. Also, the mitts easily accept heat packs for 20
degree weather, just in case.

When the mitts arrived, I noticed that they did weigh more than the picture made me believe. Since I
had them, I installed them on my Aero just to see if they would work. They fit easily and so I
planned riding in 28 degrees the next day (Saturday). My wife (Sue) thinks that the mitts look dorky
but she thinks that recumbents look dorky.

Well, Saturday came and I was just too tired to do all the tasks I needed. I told myself that 40
degrees would be better in the afternoon since I could ride 30 to 40 miles without taking lots of
clothes off as they became wet. The temperature for the day started at 28 at 7 AM, 50 by 4 PM and 40
by sunset (5:30 PM).

I started at 1:00 PM after doing adjustments to the mitts. The temperature was 48. I wore shorts,
tights, long sleeve Super Active Shirt by Solumbra, another tight long sleeve shirt, and a very thin
Trek nylon wind jacket. I felt cool at the beginning of the ride.

I noticed that my concern about seeing the road due to the mitts size was not any more difficult
than without the mitts. The nice thing was being able to remove my hands with the very thin Solumbra
gloves with no difficulty. When I did remove the hands from the mitts, they felt the cold but I
could do whatever I had to do using my fingers without having to remove gloves, having them fall on
the ground, and going through the water clip procedure, retrieval of the glove, and glove fitting.
As soon as I slipped my hands into the mitts, I got warm. The wind chill was about 45 and I was
riding 18 M.P.H.. I went through the streets with no unusual problems. The mitts worked well until I
got to my first rest room stop.

I rode up to the park rest rooms with 10 miles on my legs. I was ready to remove a layer of clothes,
and take care of the nature calls that always occur when I see the rest rooms. I parked my bike, and
tried to open the rest room door. It was locked! Not in a panic, I walked to women's door and a sign
was posted stating that the doors were locked due to "inclement" weather. Baton Rouge must have
hired an English major to take care of the parks.

I knew that about a mile away, road work was being done and maybe I could find a movable rest room
box. I road the mile and the thing was gone. I then began a search and after 3 miles, I found one. I
slipped my hands out of the mitts and walked to the rest room. No bulky gloves to remove. Very nice!

After the nature call, I removed my long sleeve shirt and was cool again. When I slipped my hands
into the mitts, I got a little warmer. The mitts regulated my upper body temperature sightly. After
another mile, my hands began to get damp. I could not believe my senses and so I took my right hand
out to look. They were dry as far as I could tell but as soon as they hit the moving air, they
cooled about 5 degrees. I could live with the damp feeling for a few minutes and just remove them
from the mitts for a second or two and go back to riding hard.

I got to a very busy crossing through five lanes of traffic with a light. Waiting for the light to
change, I just sat and sipped my water. A window was lowered from the car next to me and a lady in
her sixties told me that she likes my bike. After a thank you, I could not wait to tell my wife even
with the dorky mitts. The mitts do match the color of my bike since I put the black side to the
outside and the camo to the inside. I do need to work on the left side flap where my knee hits the
flap when I pedal. I noticed the rub when I first started but is was a soft rub and ignorable. I
road back to home with no other big surprises.

I will have to work on the mitts removal process when I cross the 65 degree temperature boundary. I
can plan a 20 mile loop and the removal of the mitts from the bike on such days. My hand felt warm
through the ride and I will be using the mitts for the winter rides without the fear of the cold
hands. I don't know what I am going to do with all the different gloves I have tried just to keep
warm. I guess I am lucky that when winter hits Baton Rouge, the warm clothes go on sale.

Gerald Muffoletto
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