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It’s spring in Alaska! Which means it’s…..cold. And snowy. As usual. But the simple fact that it is above freezing means that I will find a way to get on my bike, and these leg and arm warmers from Ibex came at just the perfect time.

I just noticed that the pictures above just kind of look like a random array of body parts. I guess that’s a hazard of reviewing arm and leg warmers….

I’m well known for deluding myself about the outside temperature and dressing just perfectly inappropriately. Within 10 minutes of leaving, chances are I’ll be in a flop sweat and stripping layers like Pamela Anderson, or be holding up the whole show by digging in my pack looking for my jacket. Ok, so I’m not THAT bad. It’s the weather, honest! You never know what the weather might do in Alaska. So when the weather is unpredictable, you’d better have some way to compensate. When I leave for an evening bike ride in 50 degree weather, I know it will be hovering around freezing when I’m riding home. Wearing long pants makes me too hot at the beginning but I’m too cold in shorts by the end. Ibex to the rescue! These leg and arm warmers are toasty warm but breathable, and are just the thing when layers are a necessity. Thanks to the ankle zippers, the leg warmers are easy to tug on over bike shoes, and the arm warmers are just the perfect length. They also don’t have that weird grippy rubber stuff on the insides, but somehow stay up nonetheless. They are not billed as gravity defying, but I can’t figure out how else they stay up. Wool goes hand and hand with antigravity technology, who knew?

Random ramblings alert: most people will say that keeping their core warm is the important thing, so they wear vests during the shoulder season (pun intended? You decide). But for me, my core stays pretty warm but my arms tend to get cold. Bizarre. I guess it can’t be JUST me, or else no one would even bother to make arm warmers. Anyway, my point is that the arm warmers are really nice for people whose arms get cold. And both arm and leg warmers are really great for those times in summer when the cow parsnip (the poison oak of Alaska, look it up, it’s nasty) is in full force. Once a friend rode 20 miles through cow parsnip without really thinking about it, and a day later her legs looked as if they’d been literally whipped. This lovely effect lasted for two months. Scary. So I always carry some leg covering when I’m riding cross country, and I think these Ibex leg warmers will be just the ticket – much easier to get on and off than long pants. Plus they just have that extra ‘gear’ factor that lends a much-needed aspect of cool when you’ve got to stop and de-layer (or re-layer) AGAIN. You can tell your riding partners that if they had such nice arm and leg warmers, they’d stop to put them on too.