Sunday, February 05, 2012

Numb Hands

Looks like a nice morning but it's cold.  Vespa instrument cluster blinking 31F at me.  Mix choosing the wrong winter riding gloves with a false estimate of the temperature ( iPhone app still set to Baltimore) and you have numb hands.

I should have gone back home to get a different pair but instead muttered the time honored expression, "I'll be fine."

And things would have been fine if I'd not stopped to take pictures.  A few minutes of bare flesh on a cold camera is enough to cause problems for me.  By the second stop I had to warm my hands on the headlight before continuing. Two more warming events would unfold before getting to Saint's Cafe in State College, Pennsylvania.

A pleasant surprise to see another scooter parked across from Schlow Library, an unusual sighting for this kind of weather.  And it was nice to find the trip into town did not involve any ice or slippery stuff.  You always have to be on the lookout for the exceptions.

There was a downside for my fellow scooter traveler -- there is no overnight parking on the street in State College and I guess that includes the motorcycle spaces.  Looks as if the parking people came by three times to say "Get out".  Each of those pretty yellow envelopes costs $25 I hear.  That's six months of gas money for a scooter.

Arriving early allowed for a few quiet moments to take nourishment, read a bit about Joe Paterno, and jot down some notes for this post.  Sunday morning has developed into a ritual.

Gordon arrived a little later with prints of pictures his dog Laika shot.  That thing hanging from his shirt is a camera that attaches to a dog's collar.  Once activated it will take a picture every minute and can store up to 40 shots.  Very strange to imagine life from a dog's point of view.

Paul arrived halfway through the morning with his new Fuji X100 camera in tow.  It looks a bit like a Leica but that's where the comparison ends.  It's all digital after that.  Nice camera though but not the kind of thing I would want to haul around on the Vespa.  It's fixed wide-angle lens won't allow for the creation of the heroic Vespa pictures I imagine.  Need that telephoto lens...

Leaving the cafe near noon saw the temperature rise five degrees and with no stopping for pictures on the way home the numb hands were history.

Moral of the story:  When riding in cold, make sure you have the right gloves.


Charlie6 said...

no heated grips option for Vespas?

or is it a power output issue?


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Steve Williams said...

Charlie6 (dom): The generator on the Vespa doesn't put out a lot of power so I would have to pick between gloves or grips. Or having the battery go dead all the time.

It would be really nice though to have some nice hot grips like the ones on the BMWs I have ridden. Woo hoo!

Circle Blue said...

Oy vay! Gloves.

This is my first winter with heated grips on the Symba. It has been mild here, but what a difference.

I've taken to wearing a backpack. I usually have a couple or three different glove choices available to me. The temperatures can swing so much here.

No numb hands this year, yet. We both know winter likes to sneak up on us if we get cocky...or forgetful.

Thanks for the share.

Dar said...

I hate freezing hands & have gone through this more than a few times this winter. Next year I am going to look at a better pair of gloves and/or heated grips. The collar camera is cool, any idea where you get one? Wishing you warmer weather for riding.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Williams:

It has been my experience to jam a second pair of warmer gloves into one of the bags on my bike, in the unhappy event that I could get caught short. This did happen one day, when the beginnings of hypothermia set it. (Shooting along US-202 at 70mph in 27ยบ temperatures can make you feel dambned uncomfortable, even when you only have 12 miles to go.)

And I swear I rad of one electric glove manufacturer that has a pair that run off a lithium battery you could charge at home or the office.

I like the camera for the dog's collar. If my last Labrador retriever had one, it would show great detail of the ass on the poodle across the street.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Fuzzy said...

The light in the top photo is just gorgeous. Makes it feel like I'm looking in to a dream.

How about handlebar muffs like scooter couriers use? They help keep the wind at bay.

Steve Williams said...

Circle Blue (Keith): Usually I have backup gloves under the seat but had removed them to look for something and failed to return them.

Some good news though-- my electric gloves that were returned to Gerbing arrived home last night as a brand new pair. Excited to try them out!

Steve Williams said...

Dar: Gordon told me his wife got the camera at Petco. Kim and I talked about it and maybe we'll get one for Junior to see what he does when we let him out in the garden.

Steve Williams said...

Mr Riepe: Gerbing sells a line of CORE gear that runs on lithium batteries. 135F for 2 hours or 85F for 8 and everything in between. Sounds impressive and no wires to tinker with.

I've wondered what we would see if you had one of those cameras hanging around your neck...

Steve Williams said...

Fuzzy: Thanks for the kind words about the pictures.

I definitely have been looking at the various kinds of scooter muffs. Just haven't pulled the trigger. Maybe it's because they look so ugly.