dexter's an organised sort of chap. during the summer months, assuming it looks like sunshine and blue sky in the early morning, he has his riding kit all neatly laid out at the side of the bed, ready to don at dawn. the breakfast cereal is sitting on the table next to bowl and spoon, while the coffee is in the thingamajig that pops into the espresso machine, ready for a quick boost before the bike is extracted from its overnight stay. then it's off for a quick hour or so before work.
as the mornings get darker and temperatures aren't what they once were, thoughts stray from short sleeve jerseys and closer to softshells, overshoes and gloves with fingers. of course, with dexter's careful preparation, one doesn't go straight from track mitts to those sleeping bags for forearms. there's a mid-stage that requires to be catered for, and dexter's got that covered. the chilly weather that, in some cases, seems to suddenly follow summer, requires perhaps less in the way of waterproofing and more in the way of windproofing.
actually, i have no earthly idea who dexter is, but he must be somebody special for endura to name a pair of gloves after him. dexter could be the ceo's dog, for all i know, though why a golden retriever would need a pair of windproof gloves is pretty much anyone's guess. however, dexter's loss is our gain; a pair of windproof gloves is just exactly what the doctor ordered for the weather that has roared in from the atlantic over this weekend. while i wish not to portray myself as a paragon of extreme sports, it occurred to me that perhaps the least scientific but harshest way to scare the living daylights out of these gloves, was to wear them while cycling in gale force winds.
in one of those don't try this at home moments, i dragged the colnago kicking and screaming from the bikeshed, before risking life and limb for the sake of finding out if dexter's mitts let the wind through. i'd like to say that the foregoing is creative exaggeration on my part, but sadly, no; the wind today on islay cheerfully gusted up to 70kph, and definitely not in a straight line. in order to remain able to complete thewashingmachinepost for the coming months, i curtailed the ride to little more than 18km, before it was curtailed for me.
you and i are therefore probably both glad that endura's dexter gloves turned out to fulfil their explanatory title: the wind was held at bay. in appearance, the dexters are not too far removed from endura's deluge waterproof gloves, having a gel zone on the palms for comfort, a grippy pattern on all the fingers, the almost trademark velcro strap that closes on the front, and the orange printed tab that helps pull them on in the first place. while modern bicycles allude to their construction by way of endless acronyms and lettering on every surface, i feel endura spoil their perfectly functional handwear by plastering them with unnecessary text and robocop like cladding. the endura logo is reflective, as are the two lozenge shapes on the outer fingers; the cuff bears the lettering windproof and there's another endura logo on the velcro strap, to say nothing of that gel zone on the palm. these are very good gloves, and in my opinion they would still be very good gloves if their appearance was a tad simpler and less aggressive.
however, the one feature of endura's handwear that has me mystified is their siting of the terry snot wipe on the forefinger and not the thumb. again, resorting to my less than scientific methodry, i tried to unconsciously wipe that runny nose before checking which part of the glove i employed for this less than seemly act, and every time, it's the thumb. is it just me? does everyone else use their trigger finger and the logical extension of same? maybe if they extended the terry portion to cover thumb and forefinger, dexter could claim versatility as one of his talents. i do, however, appreciate that this is more a personal and certainly trivial point which in no way detracts from the gloves' effectiveness.
maybe dexter could attend some lectures about the bauhaus.
to accommodate feet in shoes for this very windy trip, the corporate image was reinforced with a pair of endura's latest baabaa merino socks. i can appreciate that merino wool does not necessarily have the hardwearing features beholden to polyester and kevlar reinforcing, but it does cosy the toes in a manner with which no other material can compete. in a similar manner that you know when you've been tango'd, you will always be aware when those feet are enclosed in soft, comforting merino wool. in deference to the less than aggressive properties of merino, the endura socks are reinforced at toe and heel, and with a curious ribbed section on the bend where the leg meets the foot. somewhat visually reminiscent of those rubbery bits on bendy buses.
to help provide the comfort that pervaded both feet, the baabaa merinos are seamless, and, as in the case of all merino products, from whichever manufacturer, they take a long time to reach malodorous proportions and tend to retain their warmth even when soaking wet. thankfully, i only caught the tail end of some horizontal rain today, so there was no need to put that part to the test.
endura dexter windproof gloves can be had in sizes from xs to xxl at a cost of £24.99 ($40). the baabaa merino socks retail at £14.99 ($24) and are available in medium or large in dark grey
posted friday 2 october 2009..........................................................................................................................................................................................................