This is a leisurely ride.  The pace will be relatively slow.  You know (or should know) your own riding ability.  But at least part of the route will be on heavily-traveled city streets.  So, while we won’t insist on the wearing of helmets, you will be assuming the risk should you choose to participate without one.

With that nasty little disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about hats.  It will probably be cold, at least by Central Texas standards, so you will want some sort of head covering.  Myself, I’ve got a nice “ivy” or flat cap, purchased at a little bookstore in South Bend, IN that would work just fine.

The "ivy" cap

 I also considered being a bit more formal and wearing a proper bowler.


The Bowler, from Christy's of London

But perhaps that looks too “Odd-Job” (or “Random Task,” if you must).  So, I thought I could put a bit of an Austin spin on it, and wear my Stetson Open Road model.  Also known, albeit informally, as the LBJ model.  The western (not “cowboy”) hat for gentlemen.  You might recall this hat appearing on the advertising mural painted outside the building somewhere around 3rd and Congress.

made of beaver (!)

The Stetson Open Road

By the way, did you know that your finer fur felt hats, such as the Stetson and the bowler pictured above, are actually made with beaver fur That’s beaver, like the animal.   Even today, people still make hats out of them.  Seriously.  (Look it up.  It ain’t hard to find.)

Also, years ago, the process by which animal fur fibers were converted into felt involved the use of nitrate of mercury.  Mercury poisoning was a common occupational hazard of hat makers.  A side effect of such poisoning was the development of nervous tics and twitches – leading to the expression “mad as a hatter.”  You might want to hold that one under your hat, so to speak, for your next trivia contest.

If you are looking for proper headgear, the haberdashers down at The HatBox, at 115 E. 6th Street, will be glad to hook you up. 


Published in: on December 28, 2009 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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