I have started getting a lot of terrific stuff in the mail. For example, yesterday I got a very exclusive offer to try out Domino’s new Pasta Bread Bowl at a Very Special Price.
You can bet I’ll take them up on that soon. Real soon.
I also get a lot of bike-related stuff in the mail — and I don’t mean just a new Colorado Cyclist catalogue every couple days. I get genuine, actual bike-related things. That people could theoretically buy and stuff.
Here’s how the process generally plays out, in eleven easy steps.
- Someone — either a person from the vendor company or from their fancy-pants PR firm — emails me, telling me they’re a big fan of the blog (“Well, how could you not be?” I ask myself in bemusement), and that they have something they’d like to send me to try out.
- I reply, saying, “Sure, send it on over!” and give them my address, while crossing my fingers that I have not just made some identity thief’s job really really easy.
- Enough time elapses (i.e., more than seven minutes) that I forget we ever had an email exchange.
- A package arrives, generally via USPS.
- The package sits in the mailbox for a week or more, because we’ve all been trained to know that with the advent of e-mail, nothing good comes by USPS. Just bills and junk mail.
- Eventually the mail carrier leaves an angry note taped to my mailbox saying that no more stuff fits in it. Once, I left a response, saying, “Then stop putting those newspaper-sized grocery store ads in my mailbox.” The conversation ended there. And yes, he continues to put the grocery store ads in my mailbox, and I continue to not pick up USPS mail more than a couple times a month.
- I get the mail and — yay! — spy a package.
- I tear the package open and don a puzzled look. What is this? Where did it come from? Is it delicious? Is it poisonous? Both? (I’m always really sad when something’s both delicious and poisonous — I’m looking at you, antifreeze).
- I wake up from a sound sleep two nights later, suddenly remembering the email conversation I had with the vendor / PR guy.
- I try the product out, and find that I don’t like it enough to talk about here, and that I furthermore don’t hate it enough to talk about here. “Reasonably OK” doesn’t make for hilarious blogginess that people have come to love and expect here at Fat Cyclist.
- Eventually, I get follow-up email from the vendor or PR person, but by then I’ve forgotten them and their product again.
So there you have it: the magic formula for how to get me to talk about stuff you send me: be really good, or suck in an interesting way.
Today, I am going to talk about two things that are really good.
Cutter Tech Knickerbockers
Here’s how I can tell what my favorite clothing items are: they never get folded and put away. Which is to say, I generally wear them straight out of the dryer.
With this metric — or the metric of the fact that I wear them constantly — Cutter’s Tech Knickerbockers are definitely my favorite shorts, on the bike (in cool weather) or off.
You know, I just never get over how remarkably handsome I am.
(Side Note: I want to point out that the Tom Selleck “Movember” T-shirt I’m wearing here is to let you know that Team Fatty will definitely be celebrating Movember. Start planning your moustache ideas now. Oh, and also that I meant to be pointing at Tom’s moustache with my left hand, but seem to be unable to flex and point accurately at the same time.)
For one thing, the Cutters are comfortable — the material is stretchy and doesn’t bind anywhere. For another, they’re tough as nails. For a third, the articulated knees make them look and feel great when you’re on the bike. Though, to be truthful, this same articulation makes those knees kind of pooch out when you’re off the bike and standing around.
They’ve got pockets everywhere, in sizes for pretty much everything. And while the video on the catalog page at their site describes what each pocket is for (and gives you much more technical information than I’m going to about what these shorts are made of), I just generally put whatever I need to hold into whatever pocket will hold it.
During the Spring, I wore these on two mountain bike rides out of every three. They were terrific at being water — and mud — repellent, and they showed they were tough. The crotch didn’t wear out, and there are no visible scuffs from when I turfed it.
For the Summer, it was too hot to wear these for the kind of riding I’ve been doing, but I wore them off the bike nearly every day. They’re just that comfortable.
And now that Autumn is here, I’m planning to put these back into active service on the bike.
These are pricey pants — $149. I probably wouldn’t have bought them before I had known how much I would like them. That just seems like too much money. Now that I’m into my third season of wearing and loving these shorts, I’d say $149 is a bargain.
Oh, and Cutter is a SLC-based company. I love it when local boys make good.
Grease Monkey Wipes
I always keep an industrial-sized container of baby wipes in my truck; they’re perfect for doing a quick cleanup after a lunch bike ride. Ride, clean up, get dressed, get back to meetings. The perfect crime.
And now, since getting Grease Monkey Wipes, I keep a few of these in my truck, too.
Really, they’re just like baby wipes, except they’re made for degreasing. And if you’ve had to work on your bike during your lunch ride, they can be the difference between looking like an auto mechanic and a white-collar softie when you get back to work.
And the good thing is, these really work. Allow me to demonstrate.
One of these wipes takes me from greasy to presentable. And, as noted above, they smell lemony.
And they’re not half bad for removing the rookie mark from your calf, either.
PS: Expect a review of something that sucked in an interesting way sometime really really soon.