By Nick Legan
While recently visiting Marquette, Michigan, and riding with locals on some of the area’s groomed fat bike trails, I spotted a pair of very nice-looking pogies. After a short spin using them, I wanted to know more. It turns out that they were made by a local woman, Mary Bouchard, right there in Marquette.
Using top-notch materials and stout construction, Mitts by Mary are a great winter riding accessory whether you’re on a fat bike or not. They sell for $100 per set and come in one size, but they can be customized upon request. Colors run the gamut for the outer shell material, a durable water resistant (DWR) nylon polyester, and customers can also choose the color of the Italian fleece lining — a natural tan or a darker charcoal.
Inside each of the mitts is an internal pocket, which is very handy for stashing snacks, your phone, or even spare batteries for lights. Keeping those items warm during winter riding keeps you from breaking your teeth biting into a bar or killing battery life in frigid temperatures.
To keep them in place, Mary sews on short loops of elastic that go over the ends of your handlebar. Depending on your flat bar, you may not need to use the loops at all, but having them is a nice option. At the other end is a simple elastic drawstring to keep cold air from coming in at the cable entry.
One of my favorite features is the very smart inclusion of Velcro tabs to close the mitts when stopped. This keeps the controls warm between stints of pedaling, but perhaps more importantly it keeps them from filling with snow when you lay your bike down or park it in conditions with blowing snow.
For commuting in cold conditions and even winter mountain biking, a set of Mitts by Mary will keep your hands comfortable down to much lower temperatures. I used them in 15° F weather, and they were perfectly comfortable. The comfort range will vary by rider, but in any case the mitts will permit the use of lighter gloves, ensuring that braking and turning remain more nuanced than with bulkier options. Check them out at facebook.com/Mittsbymary/. Custom orders usually ship within seven to 10 days.