Back in the day, when dirt was new and God was a boy, as the weather got cold we would take an old pair of ragg wool socks, pull them over our shoes, and cut a hole in the socks for the cleats. These shoe covers were the best ever. They stayed warm when wet, they were cheap, and they kept your toes toasty.
The problem was that the yarn unraveled after about a dozen rides and then you had to get new socks. It was pretty wasteful.
My feet started freezing again this winter and I went for a ride in the rain. My neoprene shoe covers that I’ve had for about twenty years now, and whose backs I have to hold closed with safety pins because the zippers are shot, didn’t work very well. But to their credit, they never did.
So facing more cold, early morning rides, I bought some wool socks. These were giant; they went up to mid-shin. But because I didn’t want to be wasteful, I took them to the lady at the cleaners who does alterations and asked her if she cut cut the hole and then hem it so the yarn wouldn’t unravel.
“No way,” she said, and sent me across the street to the cobbler. “He might be able to help.”
The cobbler listened to my plight. “Nope,” he said.”But that lady down the street does tricky alterations. Might try her.”
I walked over to the shop that said, “We Do Difficult Alterations.” The lady listened to my plight. “Sure, I can do that. But it will be be very difficult because of the yarn. And it will be expensive.”
“$60,” she said.
“Wow,” I thought, calculating the $6 price of the socks. Then I thought about my cold feet. “Okay,” I said.
I came to pick them up and the price had raised to $90. Those are expensive socks. I paid and took them home.
On Tuesday’s NPR everyone made fun of me. “Ugg socks!” they said. Everyone agreed that they are the ugliest thing anyone had ever seen. But my feet were so warm.
Then yesterday I rode to Trancas, leaving at 5:30 AM. It was in the thirties. The other riders were bundled up but not their feet. My Ugg socks got a fair amount of negative attention until we were two hours in and everyone started to get really, really cold.
“You’re starting to look like the smartest one out here with those socks,” said CTB with a grin.
My feet stayed warm the whole way. I think I overpaid, though. But then I think about cold feet. Maybe I didn’t.
Read this far? Go ahead and hit this “subscribe” link. Thank you!