Friday, April 3, 2009

Love Thy Gloves


Portland Velo was fortunate enough to first make friends with, then work a sponsorship with the cats over at Ironclad Performance Wear.  You'll see a lot of us wearing their gloves and base layers our lounging after a race in one of the killer hoodies.

Ironclad makes some hardcore tough gear, and I was fortunate enough to be wearing a pair of gloves today when I had a momentary lapse of reason and pulled a totally boneheaded move.

Felt FC3My route today took me over a very small stretch of road which is basically gravel.  Like many road cyclists, after clearing the gravel section, I gently pressed my glove hand on my front tire to shear off any stuck glass, rocks, or sand that may have stuck to my tire and caused a puncture down the road.  After cleaning the front tire, I reached back to do my rear, a move I've done countless times over the years.... On my Felt.

VeloVie Vitesse 300SE (AKA Eater of Fingers)My VeloVie has a much different frame, and the triangle of space that my Felt has allowing me to clean my tire does not exist on my VeloVie.  In fact, the VeloVie has very little clearance at all and the wheel sits very close to the seat tube due to a cutout to allow wind flow around the back wheel.

There is about enough room between the tire and the seat tube to get a finger wedged in there.  I tested it.

Your body reacts to pain and stressful situations very quickly.  The moment my finger got stuck a rapid fire series of things happened in the next five to ten seconds.  First, the impulse to pull my hand out and the realization that no, it was indeed stuck.  Second, I could hear that my rear tire was locked and I was skidding, and losing speed rapidly.  Third, pump the front break gently to scrub more speed but not lock up both tires.  Forth, unclip both feet since I had no clue which side my balance was going to be on in the position I was in.

No evidenceOnce I managed to get stopped, I actually had to roll my bike  backwards while pulling my hand had gotten wedged so deep.  I couldn't feel a portion of my index finger and I wasn't looking forward to seeing the damage.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that my gloves were still intact, and other then a minor rub mark completely unharmed.

Pull my finger? I gently removed my glove and was shocked to only see a small pencil eraser sized gouge that was barely bleeding.  Sure, the finger was stiff and bruised and hurt like hell, but it was intact and functioning, and the feeling was rapidly returning.No wittiy remarks here.



My rear tire is now trainer fodder, a 4 inch strip worn down to the fibrous Vectran belting, but it got me 10 miles over to Bike'N'Hike in downtown Hillsboro where the guys let me change out to a new tire right in the store.  (Big thanks to Coleman and John for that.)

For the cost of a new tire, some Neosporin, a band-aid, and a crap load of pain, I was able to prove how bad ass Ironclad's gloves are. 

I'm not at the hospital right now because of them.

                    Preventing the results of your stupid actions.....

1 comment:

proxy said...

Very glad to see the digit is ok! It's a pleasure to provide tough gloves for you and your team. Thanks as well for the write up!