On Thursday afternoon I had something of a dilemma – a cycling meeting to go to in Bigtown (which obviously it would be bad form to go to in the car)(and besides, when I say ‘meeting’ what I really mean is ‘pub visit’ and while I’m happy to cycle with half a pint on board, I’m not really comfortable driving having had anything more mind-altering than a coke) on a day when the weather was alternating between grim and miserable. As the appointed hour when I would have to leave approached, and with Rain Today only giving out the faintest gleams of hope, the weather switched abruptly from grim to ‘heavens opened’ and I knew that this time there was no alternative but to take desperate measures: the waterproof trousers.
Despte our notoriously wet weather, I think I’ve worn my waterproof trousers just once since moving up here. The problem with them is that while they work – in that they keep the rain off my non-waterproof trousers – in all other ways they are a terrible idea: sweaty, deeply unstylish even by my standards, and rather putting paid to the whole ‘oh you can just cycle in your ordinary clothes’ vibe I try to have going on. Plus there’s the fact that once you arrive and get off the bike you have to take them off (or go into the pub with them on) and trust me, you don’t want to be hopping about on the street in Bigtown outside a pub taking your trousers off, even if you’ve another pair on underneath. Waterproof trousers really speak volumes about the fact that their wearer has given up on everything but practicality – and that’s before the wearer has tried to put her keys in the (non) pockets and has then had to extract them from her shoe. In fact, wearing waterproof trousers is tantamount to admitting that cycling is something that, when it comes down to it, only very strange people do. At least in the rain in the dark in October.
The worst part about this whole story is that – you guessed it – the minute I’d struggled into the damn things, the rain stopped. And stayed stopped all the way into town, near enough, where I arrived looking dry and (once I’d made a dash into the pub toilets to change) reasonably fresh. They are, it would seem, not just rain proof but rain-repellent and in the interests of everyone in the area I’m going to have to start wearing them full time (just carrying them around is not enough – I had them in my bag on Sunday and got completely drenched before I had time to get off and put them on). It’s that or shell out €55 for one of these.