This is like one of those “When You See It” pictures that your friends send you on Facebook.
I took this photo while commuting by bus in Madagascar. Do you notice anything odd?
This was during my “Bikeless in Madagascar” period. It was a weird time. I would do my normal morning get-ready-for-work routine. I’d go out the front door, and it wouldn’t feel right.
My morning pre-flight checklist is blend of conscious and subconscious. I think many people, if not most people are this way.
By the time I get to the door, I don’t remember consciously loading my body with the stuff I take with me every day. Instead, as I am preparing to lock the door, an involuntary body scan happens. I am more likely to notice what is absent — such as the absence of my wallet from my pants pocket, or the absence of pants from my lower body. I am not a morning person.
On the day I took that photo on the bus, it was at the end of a full week of not commuting by bike. And it still felt strange not to have pushed the bike out the door ahead of me; not to have my helmet on my head; not to have gloves on my hands.
And then, sitting on that bench seat on the bus, I noticed the familiar neoprene hug of my Owl Band cuff strap.
I brought several cuff straps of different designs with me to Madagascar. The Owl Band was sent to me after I arrived here, and I’ve been using it exclusively ever since. The width and the stretchy neoprene make it really easy to use. The fact that I automatically put it on while in a morning grog says something.
The stretchy-huggy quality is not just a weird thing that I have about liking my ankle embraced. There’s a mechanical fact of pants that causes the cuff to come up your calf when you bend your knee to attach one of these straps. The cuff strap gets adjusted to a larger circumference than it will need when your leg straightens out. A non-stretchy cuff strap becomes loose, slips below the cuff, and I often discover it later lounging on my sock like a dangly ankle bracelet. The bigger your calves are, the bigger this problem can be.
With the Owl Band, I learned to put a little extra squeeze into it when I connect the Velcro. When I straighten my leg and the pants relax, the Owl Band continues to hold my cuff against my leg, just above my ankle, but not too tight.
I wear a cuff straps for keeping my pant legs out of my chainring, so I didn’t capture any photographs showing the reflective quality of the Owl Band. Except for the time that I picked up a pizza on the way home, and improvised a method for strapping the pizza box to the tops of my rear panniers.
Owl Band Reflective Ankle Bands sell for $11.95 for a pair.