There is no way November is an autumn month. Not in Scotland. It’s wet and gloomy and oh so cold and dismal. As far as I’m concerned winter is officially here. Not that I’m getting off my bike or anything. It’s just that winter cycling presents its own set of challenges, and in my second year of embracing the cold and wet, there are lots of things I’ve learned.
Take, for example, the extremities. My hands and feet suffer. They are cold. While my trunk is roasty toasty due to layering prowess, my neck is a sweaty mess of buff mixed with collar, and my eyes are too busy gushing water for me to notice how numb my face is, the poor toes and fingers are not happy.
A decent pair of winter gloves coupled with liners and those microwave hand warmer things have given my paws a bit of relief. But my other paws have been freezing. Despite multiple pairs of socks, winter boots and the fabulous suggestion of wrapping my feet in tinfoil like some horrific baking accident, I’ve found it difficult to keep the old plates of meat even lukewarm.
So, as my cycling evolution from enthusiastic pootler progresses to bike-crazed madwoman, today I hit a milestone in my increasingly bike-demented journey. I have finally discovered the magic of the humble overshoe.
Now, stop right there. I know what you’re thinking. “Well, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? That’s what overshoes are for, you daft woman…”. And you’re right. I am a daft woman. But I’ve avoided wearing them unless absolutely necessary because of this reason:
Yes. They are the ugliest things going. They are furry condoms for your feet. Look at them. Ugh, they are so visually awful I’ve avoided them at all costs, despite having purchased them at the start of the year. I do like my cushion, though.
These overshoes in particular have provided me with a case of ankle muffin top. Once all the velcro has been velcroed, my legs spill over the top of the overshoe as a godawful cliff of fat, wobbly ankle. So I’ve generally not been too keen on sporting them as I nip about the town, otherwise sensibly clad and without all that official “lycra cycling gear” that sets you apart in people’s heads as a creepy weirdo on a bike. (As an aside, non bike people I’ve chatted to think cycling clobber singles you out as some insane red-light-jumping, old-lady-hitting speed freak.)
However, today I finally succumbed to the furry feet condoms. And now I understand why folk think they are furry feet condoms with a purpose. My tootsies were warm the whole way home! And a lovely, pleasant warmth also – not sweaty heat that creates a cheesy stench comparable to the compost bin, but rather a cosy central-heating-and-cuppa warmth for my entire 6 mile journey.
So I kinda “get” them now. But they still look atrocious and I’m not happy with that at all because (and call me strange) I like to wear regular clothes when I cycle around town. You know, so that I look like an actual person and help to demonstrate that cycling is a normal thing to do. Overshoes definitely don’t give that vibe.
Surely there is a market for women that want cosy trotters but don’t want to look like they have highly visible bin bags wrapped around their ankles? If you know of any nice/cool/fun/a bit less fugly overshoes, please do let me know. Please. I’d probably buy them!