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Friday, March 30, 2012

A blog post in which I talk about clothing, again.

Two weeks ago "technical" wool purveyors and creepy ad proponents Icebreaker held one of their few times a year warehouse sales here in Portland, with steeply discounted stuff. And since I am a fancy-pantsed, Retro-Grouchy bicyclist, I like the wool. For those who are not initiated to the ways of the new wool and can only think of scratchy wool and the sweater gramma knit you, the newer, finer, softer merino wool is nothing like that. While there are drawbacks (modern merino is a lot easier to wash than that old gramma sweater, but you still have to take some care with it), the positives outweigh them, at least in my eyes.

The biggest drawback to all this fancy-arsed wool is the price. It don't come cheap. So I take advantage of events like this. In fact, that's the way I get most of my technical wool. So what if it means putting up with crowds, yuppies fighting over clothing and the like?

Since I'm broke and don't really need a lot of tech wool, I ended up buying a black t-shirt and another pair of underwear. While there were plenty of "techy" looking items, I don't need any more of those things. Basic t-shirt, sure. I got out of there with spending only $35. Sure, a cotton t-shirt and cotton boxer short at Mal-Wart would cost maybe a quarter as much, but that ain't the point.

In other clothes news, I managed to snag a pair of "old style" MUSA knickers, the type made for and sold by Retro-Grouch Emporium Rivendell.

I briefly owned a pair of these last May, as I ordered them in hopes that they would be my "pants" for the tour. But something didn't jibe with them when I tried them out, so I promptly returned them. In the past few months I've thought about them again, as I was looking for lightweight knickers for spring/summer. As luck would have it, Philip from Bike Tinker was selling a used pair in my size (XL) for only $30, more than half-off the regular price! I quickly snapped them up.

MUSA knickers have a love-em or hate-em design and aesthetic, much like most of the stuff Grant/Rivendell does/says. There is no belt loops but a draw string. Nor is there a fly. The cuffs are fastened with velcro.

When I tried these pants briefly last May the lack of belt loops and no fly were the deal breaker for me, but I was willing to get besides my pants prejudices and give them another shot. And yep, the first day I hated the lack of a true belt option. I never feel like the pants want to stay up, and had to adjust them frequently. Plus there is no place to put the excess draw-string for the waist so I had to tuck it into the pants lest I have nine inches of cord dangling 'round my crotch. And I'm one of those guys who clip my keys to a belt loop, so I had to stuff them into a pocket.

But after a day of test-riding them, I came to like them. Yes, pulling down pants to pee is annoying for a man, but it didn't bother me after the second or third time.* And these pants were definitely comfortable for the task they were designed for--riding a bicycle. Plus, they aren't that offensive looking, for technical wear. I think I got myself a keeper.

And finally on the "So what if it's Spring" front, April has finished knitting me a nice scarf! It's quite nice.

And rather long.

Just please don't confuse me with this guy.
I do like his vest. Very Tweed Ride ready.

I don't deal with Daleks well, by the way. Though I would be accompanied by Leela, who does know her way with crossbows, knives, and poison darts. **(and) ***

Oops, sorry, wrong Leela-from-popular-sci-fi-TV-show. Here's the Leela I was talking about:

(I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.)

And since this is a bicycle blog (and to answer the question "What kind of bike would The Doctor ride?") here's an obligatory photo of Tom Baker riding a bicycle:

Nice front rack. Wonder how much it can hold?

A person, at least. Rather interesting portaging method, ladder and all.
And is that a Pashley postal delivery bike? Can't tell with the resolution of these photos, but it does look similar to other Pashleys I have seen. Anyone know? (Dr. C?)

*I'm sure Grant has a perfectly rational reason (that he tells himself) why he sells pants without some sort of fly, but I'm not sure I want to find out.
**When watching some Fourth Doctor-with-Leela Dr. Who episodes, my friend wondered, "Is Leela the basis for Xena?"
***April still has not seen any Doctor Who.



    Shawn and I just watched the first four episodes of Doctor Who with Tom Baker as the Doctor.

    So there.

  2. Nice scarf. I started one two years ago and didn't finish it this winter for lack of snow and cold weather. I'll definitely finish it next year. You want the scarf nice and long so you can double it and pull the loose ends through the loop to form a snug knot around your neck.

  3. Now that's Dr. who again? :p LMBO! Man that pic brought back childhood memories! I've yet to find/see the original (TomBaker was the original,was he not?) as an adult,but I remember being glued to the TV with my Dad when I was younger! My daughter andI watch the modern version on Scy-Fy now-a-days :D

    Yes,very nice scarf :)

    The Disabled Cyclist

    1. Actually, Tom Baker was the Fourth Doctor. He followed William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee.

  4. I must admit that I find it quite amusing that Doctor Who has a cult following in the US ;)

    As for Tom Baker's bike, I'd guess it would have been one of Raleigh's captive brands rather than Pashley, considering when the picture would've been taken.

    1. What's amusing about Americans liking Dr. Who? PBS had to run at least one British show other than endless "Are You Being Served" marathons during the '80's.


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