i'm not an alarmingly early riser in the morning; 7:30am is about as bright and cheerful as it gets, though i will admit to a 7:15 alarm call every alternate saturday. for reasons that time has lost all contact with, the radio alarm comes on around 6am, rarely waking either me or mrs washingmachinepost, but allowing interminable dozing until the sports news only a moment or two before half-past seven. bleary eyes continue for several lengthy minutes more, during which radio four's today programme continues unabated.
the occasional weather forecast interruptions are pretty close to being of no use whatsoever; informing the listener that it will be mild in the south and cooler in the north is a bit like a chocolate fireguard. however, presenter evan davis only the other morning mentioned that "you know those days when you start having to wear an overcoat? well they'll start around midnight tonight." that's those southern softies for you.
unfortunately he was probably correct, and again yesterday morning paid testament to "probably the end of our indian summer." at the risk of publicly proclaiming my ignorance, i haven't the faintest idea why it is referred to in this manner; why is the existence of warm weather well past its sell-by date the preserve of the indians? and to which indians are they referring? either way, the sight on the other side of the curtains wasn't something you'd see on a mediterranean holiday, and for once i silently raised a small cheer.
i've mentioned on more than just a singular occasion that the velo club has frequently found itself overdressed of a weekend lately, and all thoughts of waterproofing consigned to the cycle wardrobe. despite protestations of breathability on behalf of the many, temperatures inhabiting the upper teens or lower twenties will, more often than not, result in as much moisture inside the jacket as out. better just to suffer in saturated silence. but the dawning of wet and windy mornings has unlocked that particular section of the clothing cupboard and once more, days of inclement swashbuckling have arrived.
this is october, merely the entrance hall to autumn and winter. by the time the back door is reached in mid-january or even earlier, more substantial waterproofing and moisture porosity will be called into service. at the moment, a thin jacket stuffed in a back pocket will suffice for this member of the pelotonese.
scottish apparel providers endura have claimed the upper echelon (good choice of word for a windswept isle) of clothing hierarchy for their equipe range, but prior to its arrival, the world belonged to fs260-pro. if i recall correctly, it refers to the weight in grams of a square metre of field sensor fabric; or something like that. however, since many of the fs260 outpourings are demonstrably not crafted from field sensor fabric, it seems only right and proper to accept that it is now simply the title of a rather fine clothing line.
weighing next to nothing and with a thickness that rivals that of quilted toilet paper, the endura adrenaline race cape arrives in its own little drawstring bag. it's an easy method of containing it while in a jersey back pocket, but since squally showers arrive seemingly from nowhere out here, particularly when shelter is either thin on the ground or completely non-existent, i could do without the extra faff. so i left the bag at home.
one of the adrenaline's claims to fame are its semi-transparency, allowing the competitive amongst us to have those stuck behind to see the race number. it's a nice feature, but sadly of little use to yours truly. however, it did allow those in close proximity to view a faint trace of my endura bowmore distillery jersey and tartan armwarmers (whether they wanted to or not). the collar is lightly padded, and the opposite end has a drop tail to keep any rear wheel spray from soaking one's posterior.
it's really easy to pull on and off in the current spate of changeable weather and alludes to total waterproofness via fully taped seams and comforting breathability. the latter feature seems something of a condundrum; barely challenging the thickness of butterfly wings, the adrenaline jacket offers virtually no warmth despite its wind and waterpoofing (it's not really supposed to); it was a chilly ride in a northerly wind. however, on reaching the safety of froth, the inner reaches bore the unmistakeable traces of condensation.
this is not something that i find at all iniquitous. even if you ride in short sleeves during that rarefied scottish summer weather, you'll find yourself invaded by patches of perspiration; so why the heck would you expect to be internally bone dry when wearing a waterproof? however, with no hope of engendered cosiness, the fact that even cold weather in the face of athletic exertion seemingly tested its breathability was somewhat unexpected. but the waterproofing? now that's a different matter.
just as i rounded the bend, heading towards crosshouses over the heavily worn but expensively laid anti-skid surface, i entered the world of wind-tunnel testing. a serious headwind bearing lashings of precipitation completely justified my having worn the adrenaline jacket in the first place. and though many a damp patch was visible on the jacket's exterior, patches that looked as if they had breached the fabric, there was no sign of any corresponding dampness on the bowmore jersey or tartan armwarmers.
how the heck something that thin can fend off gale fueled precipitation is quite beyond my ken.
i'm none too sure that i'd like to explore several hours of persistently heavy rain however, and certainly not without more substantial clothing below, but i'm pretty sure that this is not the principal purpose of the adrenaline jacket in the first place. however, in or out of its stuffsack, it's the ideal emergency waterproof to have in a back pocket, and its lack of bulk is very much a creditable string to its bow, both off and on.
endura's adrenaline race cape retails at an impressive £59.99 in sizes ranging from xs through to xxl in either black or white.
tuesday 8th october 2013