The Ultimate Farkle

Published by Liane Langlois on

One size fits every bike!

by R. Bruce Thomas

To start with this month I want to step back a bit to last month and my notes on the Ride for Dad and The Man Van. I've long believed every major center should have access to a mobile PSA testing clinic and Calgary has had the only two in Canada.

Well, while getting my PSA blood test done during the Ride for Dad stop in Mundare on June 8, I was told that one of the Man Vans would be permanently relocating to Edmonton the following week to handle northern events. This is definitely a step in the right direction to make it easier FOR EVERY MAN TO GET SCREENED EARLY for Prostate Cancer.

So there you go. Scope out Man Van locations at -

And now, on to the latest.

While my wife was at home having to cover the garden due to a mid-June frost warning here in Edmonton I was riding down east under a heat dome with highs of 37C for four days in a row. The garden survived and so did I but "heat dome" are two words you generally don't want to hear while on a time-sensitive trip.

I do have an evaporative cooling vest, a pair of Power Temp Cool Sleeves from LDComfort (, plus a Heat-Out skull cap that I wear when the temperature soars.

The evaporative vest does a good job of keeping your body cool for hours after as little as five minutes soaking in cold water. The Cool Sleeves work great by putting them on and then soaking your arms (don't wet them first!). The skull cap helps wick moisture off your head for better evaporation and cooling.

All of these items are essential when one rides into a sweltering area under a heat dome.

Especially when one is riding on interstate highways where there is parking lot style congestion and no easy way to get off.

Honestly, lane filtering should be legal by default as riders are sitting on top of heat pumps in stop and go traffic while cagers are resting in air conditioned comfort. While many drivers don't have a problem letting a rider move through traffic (a polite Thank You wave comes in handy) there are many who would seemingly prefer to see a rider suffer in the heat than keep the air moving.

Anyhow, there is one farkle that no rider should be without and they are dirt cheap. I was finding them at 2 for $3 and they even came with a full bottle of water!

My wife would always carry a bottle with one of these beauties in order to easily pop the top and pour some water down my back or down her own. While riding alone on hot days, I make sure to have one tucked in my jacket. It is very easy to unzip a bit, pop the top, pour some down my neck and, if stopped, pour some water down my arms to re-charge the Cool Sleeves. You DO NOT want to have to mess around with screw caps on water bottles.

Make sure that you keep the cap as they often will fit other bottles if you can't find a bottle with the pop top.

In hot weather, keeping your cool is essential and when people see you pouring water down your neck they sometimes get the idea that the heat is oppressive and you need to keep moving.

When you do move, do so carefully.

Ride responsibly, and often.

Categories: News