though i'm given to understand there are portions of the country currently experiencing what might possibly be termed a heat-wave, days of shorts and t-shirts are quite probably numbered. naturally enough, there is an obvious disparity between north and south that has nothing to do with economics, but pretty much everything to do with weather systems. even yesterday, when the hebrides were indeed bathed with warming sunshine and few cotton-wool clouds, there was still enough of a south westerly wind to keep temperatures cooler than would be experienced in the deep south.
though i have no wish to be depicted as a killjoy, there will be rain, quite possibly lots of it and most likely sooner rather than later. despite studies informing us that cycle commuters will, on average, get wet only seven time per year, i seriously doubt any of that study was undertaken on scotland's west coast. i have managed to get wet seven times in one day, and i seriously doubt i am alone.
however, the question must be asked whether, based on the above survey result, is it worth arming ourselves with not only a full-range of waterproofs, but those of better quality rather than just making do? naturally enough, your mileage will vary on this subject (pun intended), but assuming you view the results of the survey with a similar level of contempt as do i, your thoughts more likely centre around how many waterproofs to acquire and of what order.
let me make plain that, in this particular instance, we are considering garmentage that is specific to the art of commuting, rather than that more directly aimed at the pelotonese. the absolute minimum ought surely to be a waterproof jacket, preferably of the breathable variety in order to avoid the notion that one has just experienced a mobile sauna en-route to work. aside from personal comfort, consider your workmates who may be less than impressed with a steaming, malodorous executive in the boardroom.
a second consideration would surely be a pair of similarly breathable waterproof trousers, with all the trimmings to allow for keeping all well away from spinning chains and chainrings? the majority i have come across feature a calf-length zip to facilitate the wearing and removal of without compulsory discarding of footwear. and i'm glad you mentioned that, for shoes have, until recently, been my bête noir. i have arrived at clients' houses, comfortable in my upper dryness, only to sit for an hour or two in an unheated room with damp and cold feet.
though many of the world's cycle clothing purveyors offer a wide range of overshoes, the majority are designed to cover cleated shoes, but rarely a pair of stylish, tan-coloured, leather brogues. what's a style icon to do?
fortunately, the accurately named showers pass of portland, oregon, as part of their commuting range, offer practical, if less than sartorially desirable waterproof overshoes. these comprise nylon fabric uppers, joined to relatively hard-wearing textured soles, zipped at the rear and aided and abetted by velcro ankle straps to adjust the fit. should cleats be a part of your armoury, 'tis but a simple matter of cutting appropriately sized holes in the soles. additionally, there are enough reflective offerings to remain visible after dark.
though placing waterproof trousers outboard of the overshoes would seem the most logical way to proceed, the ankle width is sufficient to tuck the trousers inside.
though the club shoe covers did all that was expected of them, in this case sat upon standard platform pedals on the sit-up-and-beg taurus corinto, you'll never win any style awards thus clad. additionally, though i pulled the velcro ankle straps as tightly as i could, there was still more flapping about when walking than i would truthfully have preferred. this surely has much to do with the size range covered by the covers? the majority of my cycling shoes are size 44, while my civilian footwear is generally 43 (no, i don't understand either). that room to manoeuvre generated what might reasonably be referred to as flappage
the size requested from showers pass was the large which, according to their website, is capable of encompassing shoes of 43-46. while on the bike, there really was no problem whatsoever and the footwear within remained as dry as a bone both top and bottom. but with no disrespect intended, i'd be reluctant to walk the streets while wearing these. perhaps the size below would offer a deal less spare capacity, but in view of the salient fact that they are designed to keep footwear dry while cycle-commuting, it would be hard to overly criticise. however, i'd prefer something offering a closer fit round my brogues.
showers pass club shoes covers are available to accept shoes from size 36 to 49 (small, medium, large and extra-large) in black only at the attractively economical price of £22.
tuesday 16 august 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................