Unlike some (many?) of my readers I own very little cold riding gear; actually I have none. My only nod to riding in near-freezing temperatures is to throw on some long johns and an extra sweatshirt under my jacket. I’ll also wear my full face helmet so my visage doesn’t lock up in rigor and I end up at my destination looking like a bald Joan Rivers with too much head and too little skin.
So when I saw Sports Experts advertising a store-closing sale I thought I’d see if I could augment my cold weather gear with a new pair of Helly Hansen’s (or similar) thermal underwear at a reasonable price (i.e. cheap, big spender that I am). The young salesgirl’s reaction when I asked to be directed to their long underwear rack was akin to me having asked her to explain the over-arching theory of nuclear thermodynamics in 5 minutes or less.
In hindsight I should have had a picture with me, but with a bit of pantomime and a very lengthy description the penny finally dropped. “Oh, like, you mean ‘base layers’?”
I stood corrected. The ubiquitous underwear, trollies, gotches (or gotchees), drawers, skivvies, or Reginalds are now ‘base layers’. And the marketing wallahs, once again, have managed to upscale their product in order to be able to charge outrageous sums for what really amounts to a flimsy bit of polyester.
And yes, I am now the proud owner of a new pair of base layers. Wait, is it a pair still? Or is it just a base layer? This is so confusing.