This year the 12 Days of Randonneurmas returns on Day Four to a tried-and-true gift that every cyclists uses at least some of the time: the cycling cap.
MG and our friend Lane G. got me into looking for more interesting caps than those black nylon skullcaps sold in cycling shops and the ubiquitous cotton cycling brand caps. Now we have a small collection from some of our favorite sources that work for every purpose and season.
This year I finally went ahead and measured my head (no, this isn’t the start of a song) for custom caps by Caroline Paquette of Portland, Ore. She sews and sells under the name Little Package.
Caroline makes really useful and handsome caps from high-grade wool and cotton, changing her offerings as she gets her hands on a certain kind of material. She even sells hats made from suit wool and other clothing that she cuts up.
Send her your measurements and she’ll make you perfect fit hats with either a standard brim or a stubby brim — both are short enough to not block your vision when riding, which is a problem I have with standard caps. Caroline is a cyclist so she knows what works. Just make sure not to wake your loved one when you put the tape measure around their noggin!
I also have to note that I’m a fan of Walz Caps, which will also make their caps with short brims on request. I have a few with the short brims, including the Yehuda Moon wool model, and they work well. One can also get custom embroidering.
And, there is nothing nicer than a good wool skullcap when one needs more coverage. MG is partial to the Ibex Zephyr skullcap. We’re fans of Ibex but this one is a special item that just does the job and looks great.
Finally, there is the memento cap. I asked our pal Kirstin to pick me up a cap in Paris this year when she went there with her husband Tom. To my delight she brought back a very, very Parisien cap from Cycles Laurent. It has a big Eiffel Tower on it and always starts a conversation when I’m off the bike.
Those are our hat & cap recommendations this year. Every cyclist will wear a cap sooner or later, why not give them one they’ll love?
Tomorrow: Something for those times off the bike.