|Welcome to the 16th Boure Newsletter and hello to all of our Newsletter Customers, read on and you'll find special deals just for you! Durango is way behind on snowpack and if this last week's weather continues, we will soon be back to normal. The skiing hasn't been all that good, but there is a reason that Purgatory was rated the "#1" Spring-Skiing-Mountain in the USA (by a ski magazine that apparently accepts bribes). We'll soon have more snow (March and April tend to be our wettest months) and the weather will be sunny and warm. Several people have called requesting information about good times to visit Durango this coming year, so we hope to meet a few more customers in person this year.
1. Some suggestions on commuting,
2. Why commute? I ask, why drive?
3. New Items have arrived and are looking for new homes,
4. Sale Items changes and special Newsletter only discount,
5. Boure Happenin's.
1. We recently received a request from a customer in Chicago asking for advice on commuting clothing. That got our attention because we know that many more people are commuting or thinking of commuting now that gas prices have risen to current levels. So here are a few thoughts on commuting.
My commute includes about 9 miles of roads, with a 400 to 500 foot hill between my house and Boure HQ, depending on direction. That means I get real warm climbing it first thing, and use that warmth to balance my 35 mile per hour descent on the other side. (Do the math 35 mph and 20 degrees means what in wind chill?). I am fortunate, that I ride westward in the morning and eastward in the evening so often I wear clear prescription glasses that protect my eyes from road grime that cars kick up and the clear lenses allow me to see when it is dark. Drew rides from 100 feet above the river, down to the river and then river grade, about 5 miles one way, into the sun, if it is up. Keep in mind that it is typically dry and sunny here, so extra cold in the morning and often a breezy afternoon.
First, lets set the stage for commuters. Unless you live in an area where there is public transit of some sort, you must assume that you will have to go home, at some point, at the end of your work day and as a result that you won't be able to avoid a ride in inclement weather like your "fair weather cycling friends", who can simply put it off or stay home and ride rollers if the weather gets too bad. That said, you can avoid riding in in inclement weather, if you have an alternative. Most workers will ride in the dark at least one way for part of the year. Commuters will need to carry extra clothes, food and possibly work documents. Keep in mind that your commute usually has two relatively short legs. In that way, your commute is very different from going out on a 2-3 hours training ride or an all day touring leg. If you get a bit wet after 15-20 minutes, it is likely that you have only 15-20 minutes to suffer before you arrive home or at work and can change clothes.
So let's start with the basics. In addition to the bike, you will need to look into lights, bell/horn and some sort of carrying device. I use a rear rack and a top mounted trunk bag that expands. Drew uses a messenger bag. I use a bar-end plug light on the left (vehicle) side along with a seat post and a rear-bag mounted flashing red light. I don't expect to see much with my front light because I ride on roads with traffic, which dominate any light I can throw out there, so I choose to use one that flashes so I can be seen. Drew uses a higher powered rechargeable front light so he can see the bike trail he is fortunate to ride on for most of his commute. Neither of us wants to deal with flats so we both use self healing tubes and don't expect our commuting bike to as light as, nor perform quite like, our "race" bikes. We do NOT want to fix a flat in the rain, we do not believe the extra time it takes can be done in a manner more fun than sitting at home with a cocktail. We use larger tires, often with treads just in case we see snow, or want to take the alternative dirt road. We both have multiple bikes and the ones we use for commuting have fenders, to help eliminate some of the discomfort of rain or snow. Those wet moments are much easier to take if you aren't also getting road grime sprayed in your face and up your crack by your own tires. Depending on where you keep your bike and if you like to make stops on the way to or from work, you may want to consider an easily stowable but secure lock. Even though your commuter bike may be dirty and look cumbersome compared to your "fast" bike, it may be the nicest one your local bike thief sees in his busy day, so discourage him if you can, and beat him to a pulp if you can catch him in action. Just kidding, call a cop.
Many commuters ride in vastly differing conditions for their two rides. Often cold in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. For this reason, I tend to dress in layers. In the summer time, I might wear arm and knee warmers and a wind vest with my shorts and short sleeve jersey. I almost always wear a baselayer that makes me feel dry (wool or the like). In the evening, I would have the vest, warmers and if it is hot enough, the baselayer stuffed in my trunk bag.
In the winter, it is going to be very cold in the morning (10-20 degrees) and warmer in the evening (40's). For these conditions, I need more clothes and still vary what I wear from morning to evening. I wear a long sleeve wool baselayer, thick wool socks (I have a larger pair of shoes that accommodate the thicker socks, a Boure Cycling suit (with convenient IPOD holding rear pocket) and a Boure PRO Thermo jacket. In the morning I wear liner gloves and fleece windproof gloves. I wear neoprene toe covers under a windproof, oversized bootie. I wear a wool skull cap and often wish I was wearing my balaklava when I go down hill fast. Drew wears a skull cap and is fond of the Boure cycling caps to provide eye protection from sun on the horizon or snow/rain sprinkles. On the way home, I remove the liner gloves and toe covers and often at least partially unzip my jacket.
For the shoulder seasons, I vary my gear from the summer version to the winter version by moving to a summer weight tight, then at around 50 degrees I move to the thermal tights, I'd rather be a bit warm than a bit cold. Under 70 degrees, I start putting something over or adding to my jersey. A wool jersey adds a bit of warmth and is very breathable, whereas the Boure Team thermal jersey has a more windproof weave but, not the class and smell eliminating qualities of wool. Once it is 50 degrees, I move to the thermal jersey made of Superoubaix (same as the tights) and add a wind vest whcih can be removed for the ride home.
Drew rides everyday, whereas my outside demands and the extra distance mean I drive some days. The occasional drive to work makes it easier for me to leave and pick up clothing. Since Drew rides every single day, he has more experience with rain gear. It has been largely his trials with Showers Pass rainwear that we have brought their excellent rain jackets to Boure. Keep in mind that rain gear is by definition completely wind proof, some of it is also breathable (eVent jacket). Breathability means from the inside out, the ability to pass your body moisture to the outside. In the simple explanation, waterproof-breathable materials move moisture vapor across the membrane using a temperature gradient. This means that they work better in the winter than summer and of course work better when the outside humidity is lower (Colorado versus western Oregon). Wind "resistant" materials, like what we use for our wind vest and Pro cycling jacket are not wind proof nor waterproof and they are highly breathable.
Everyone has an opinion on the pros and cons of waterproof breathable materials. Heavy sweating individuals may prefer more thermal but breathable layers to accomplish their insulation objectives, others may prefer less insulating layers but like to seal them in with a waterproof or waterproof-breathable layer. This is an area where there is no right and wrong you simply have to experiment. An advantage of a windproof outer layer might be for the new commuter in Chicago where the wind is frequent and biting. Since I am usually riding in cold but dry temperatures, I prefer to have additional thermal layers but not a windproof outer layer so some air moves through my clothes and keeps my fat, sweaty body from getting too wet.
Once you get to work, you are going to have to deal with the fact that even a short commute will get you hot, and possibly dirty. We don't have a shower here but, we have a bathroom and sink. You may want to take a washcloth, towel, soap, deodorant or other personal items to make you feel fresh and so your co-workers don't complain. One of my mentors, I'll just call him Bob, from the old days at Life Cycle in Denver was fond of the Euro-shower which featured heavy doses of lilac water. All I can say is it seamed to attract very good looking women.
2. Why commute? I ask, why drive?
If you haven't used your bike to commute, I'll admit you'll need to change your thinking a little to embrace it. There are lots of real obstacles - length, safety, or maybe you're a plumber. Initially, you'll have to ride on days you don't want to. Might need a different bike (available at Goodwill stores everywhere!) and a few accessories (see Wade's list above). You're bike and clothes will get dirty. Occasionally you'll have to clean them, not unlike a car. After decades of opportunistic bike commuting, I rode to and from work the past year with nary a day off. I look forward to every ride and dread the day I'll have to waste my distance to work by driving. My conclusion, in one year of commuting to work in Durango I can attest that it's never been too cold, too wet, too snowy, too hot, too humid, too windy, or too icy to ride and enjoy it. Granted my direct ride is only 5-miles in one direction, but with some time, I can always make it longer!
The benefits, oh the benefits:
--You'll be in great shape!
I know a lot of us get wrapped up in elaborate training schemes, but if you ride your bike to work and back every day I find it hard to imagine how you couldn't be in better shape, leaner, and healthier. Toss in a long weekend ride and a weekday club ride and you might be in the best shape of your life. When you ride ever day you become acutely aware of your physical well being. When your tired, you'll find yourself riding easy. When you feel strong, you'll find yourself riding harder and adding distance. Just because your riding to work and back doesn't mean it isn't a real ride. Most importantly, you won't be able to let weeks go by without riding your bike. Unlike serious training, daily commute will only make you healthier - and that's mental and physical for those of you who are counting. I'll get back to you on my research concerning sexual vitality, but so far it's looking good and I've experience no numbness.
--Cars R Coffins (credits to Hurl Everstone at http://www.carsrcoffins.com)
Maybe it's just me, but I take little pleasure in driving around town. Sure, I use it for some of my shopping and multi-kid toting, but usually it's really because I feel lazy. Do I really need my car to carry one DVD and/or bottle of wine? Plus, driving puts you in close contact with Americans at their worst. C'mon, how many times have you come home after rush hour commute and said, " I had the greatest time driving home. I was filled with transcendent thought and waved to some really swell folks on the highway"? Not to mention some of the other ramifications of driving...
--The things you'll see! The thoughts you'll have!
OK, admittedly I live in Durango, but I see some great stuff when I ride into work. Take for instance the breeding pair of bald eagles I've see fishing the river most days this winter. When I don't see them, it's probably because I'm too busy thinking about stuff - often important, sometimes trivial, occasionally idiotic. I don't know about you, but my brain works better when my legs are moving, and shuts down behind the wheel.
Once you're dialed in, you'll be ready for anything. Blizzards, high wind, monsoons, locusts will become something you'll look forward to when your normal commute needs a little extra pizzaz. More importantly, you will find yourself amazed by how easily you can overcome these seemingly difficult obstacles on a bike. One day this winter I was riding in early. It was bitterly cold and there was recent snowfall. As I started to work I was already anticipating the new chest hairs that would appear after riding to work on such a cold morning. Then, as I cross the Animas River I see our friend Val riding to work with his beard encrusted in ice. He lives 10-miles up the valley and has to leave in the dark to get to work. A mile later, I see a smiling, waving Bicycle Bob Gregorio riding to work, too. Bob lives 10-miles west of and 1000 feet above town and had just endured a 30+ mph descent for most of those ten miles. It was with great shame and humility that I was forced to add an additional 5-miles onto my commute that morning.
So, give it a try. You'll be healthier, doing something positive for the environment, and probably have a good time. And believe me or not (no matter how beautiful she is), I don't think you'll miss your car much.
3. Since last we wrote, we have received and are selling several new items:
-- We have new Merino wool long sleeve jerseys. The mill is new, but our supplier has once again provided a superior product for a reasonable price. We opted for a simple light blue with very little "advertising" so those of you who have been looking for the "less is more" design concept, we heard you so get them while they last. You can see them here: New Wool LS Jersey
-- We have added booties to our line and are expecting matching gloves any day. The booties can be seen here: Booties. And the new gloves will be found on this page very soon: Warmers
-- We have added the Showers Pass PRO rain and wind jacket to their fine super breathable ELITE eVent jacket as a less expensive, but still highly functional rain jacket. We have hoods for both jacket styles and the new PRO version incorporates high visibility yellow and orange that many of you ask about with regularity. The PRO jacket can be seen here: PRO rain jacket. And the eVent Jacket can be seen here: ELITE eVent jacket
Both jackets use reflective striping, venting systems, sealed seams and other advanced features that we were not able to do at the Boure Ultra-Mega Factory.
-- Arriving soon, okay so really in March, we will receive the 2006 Boure TEAM jerseys in both the traditional short sleeve and the long sleeve Sun Protection Factor (SPF) style which was so well received last year by the many people who are trying to keep their skin healthier longer. We will also be getting a second style of SPF jersey this year so you won't be forced to advertise for Boure, if you don't want to, or if you simply want a change of sun jerseys from time to time.
4. We are continuing to leave the ELITE shorts and 2005 Boure TEAM jerseys on sale. We will continue this for the next few weeks but, we expect to change to a Pre-Sale on the 2006 jerseys when they get close to delivery. The ELITE shorts will be taken off sale soon as we are working existing stocks down. The reason we are discounting the ELITE shorts is that we are going to switch to a new chamois soon. When stocks are low enough we will roll out the new elastic chamois that we have been working on with our chamois supplier for the last year. It is basically the same design as our current popular Elite chamois but has elastic padding. It moves very nicely with your body movements and it took quite a few tries to get the proper combination of breathability, stretch and thickness. We will try to hold onto a few of the older chamois inserts for those of you who just can't move on, but I think if we've learned anything over the years, Drew is an excellent clothing designer and he thinks this is an improvement. If you'd like the new version before the full roll out, note that on your order, we will still honor the sale price till the sale is over. Then we will raise the price on the old style as "collectible" and "rare". Click here to see the Web Specials. Check back soon to see the new specials.
5. Wade's World is alive and well. We added a few brand new items after we did inventory, which you may find interesting. Also, due to the season we now have a few thermal items that have been exchanged. So, if you haven't looked recently, check it out and take advantage of the special deals found there. To go right to the deals click here: Wade's World Deals
We have been doing a little reorganizing of the Ultra Mega Factory and expect to have proper displays set up soon for the Boure Bike Museum inhabitants. We will try to get photos together for a virtual tour, but anyone who is in town should come by and take a gander, but only if you like super clean gorgeous older bikes, that is.
If there is anything we can do to make your cycling life better, please let us know.
As always, thanks for reading!
Ned, Drew, Laverne, Wade, Jacque and Brandon