Sunday, 20 January 2013
Battery powered gloves.....
We've had snow. As I surveyed the scene from the bedroom window I could see that an early morning ride was not feasible. Instead I chose the more civilised option: cooked breakfast and newspapers – always a great way to start Sunday. After that there was the Christmas decs to pack away into the loft – plus some annoying work stuff that keeps coming back to haunt me. By lunchtime most of my chores were complete, and the snow had given way to bright clear blue sky and sunshine. The roads were clear but the footpaths and verges were coated in snowy dust. I changed into my riding kit, plenty of layers was the order of the day plus it seemed the ideal opportunity to test out my new winter gloves. The blond bought me these as a Christmas present – they look suitably thick and invitingly warm – but the additional ‘can’t wait to try them’ attraction is that they are heated! Oh yes!
I imagine someone turning up on Dragon’s Den with this idea – winter gloves with a stitched in electrical element powered by batteries that when switched on emit just enough power to keep your hands nice and toasty when out in the cold – of course they’re not just for cyclists – anyone venturing out at this time of year would reap the rewards.
Ok – first impression, they fit well, there’s an adjustable Velcro strap to ensure a tight fit, they’re maybe a bit bulky for changing gears but that can be true of any winter gloves. I pressed the small button to switch them on, a red light confirms everything is in order and then I’m on my way. As I pick up speed the cold cuts through me like a knife – my ears are stinging, my nose, my teeth even my eyebrows feel cold. I’m thinking I should have put on a balaclava under the helmet – and an extra pair of socks – and my hands are cold?
As I make progress up the long drag into Market Bosworth the effort helps to raise my body temperature and I feel warmer – and now the gloves feel warmer too. Maybe they need time to build up heat? I roll down to the Congerstone turn, less effort and the wind-chill effect means I’m cold again, although my hands are still okay – the gloves are doing a good job!
My circuit lasted for around 15 miles - the effort and my gradual acclimatisation meant I felt generally okay - but the little lights have gone off on the gloves? - What?, first time out for an hour and the batteries are flat? - that can't be right. I stop and click the button - nothing. There is then a period of about 10 seconds worth of frantic clicking - but still nothing. No matter, I'm warm and nearly home. I'll change the batteries and try again another day.