Hang on to your Hat

‘That’s the only sensible vehicle to use today,’ I was told by a cheery chap with a chainsaw this afternoon, as I cycled into Bigtown in the aftermath of Hurricane Trampoline. I was taking a slightly circuitous route as the postman – who had not made it through until lunchtime – had warned me of serious road closures: there were apparently police cars in attendence at *incomprehensible* even though *unintelligible* had managed to cut a hole in the big trees down at *completely indecipherable* (I still haven’t quite got the hang of the postman’s accent after 5 years). Fortunately, chainsaw man and his ilk had managed to clear away all of the fallen trees from the road I took and so I wasn’t forced to hoik my bike over any trunks. Being able to get over or around such obstacles is all very well in theory, but I suspect in practice it might be beyond my upper body strength…

Anyway, as well as bringing travel advice, the postie also delivered my new hat (yes, it’s taken me this long to get around to ordering it) so it got a bit of a work out on the ride in. So far I can confirm that a Harris tweed flat cap is proof against sudden snow showers, hail, low winter sun and rain; its performance during a plague of frogs is as yet untested. Unfortunately, as I had to order a 55 cm hat – being the smallest size available in proper Harris tweed, as children only deserve a polyester-wool blend apparently – it is a little precarious in cross wind. As is cycling with one hand on your brakes and one hand holding your hat on, as it happens, so I may need to get myself a bit of ribbon or something to adjust its size to fit a pinhead like me. It is also – as I discovered on the ride home – absolutely toasty warm. Even riding home eight miles into an icy headwind, I ended up with a slightly sweaty head. So possibly a summer solution may also be needed (although then again, that depends on the summer)

Icy headwind or no, I was at least rewarded on the ride home by a glorious evening sky, complete with the merest sliver of a fingernail moon and (I’m guessing) Venus rising beneath it. There’s something about the winter sky through the trees as darkness falls that I will never get tired of.

moon rising

Especially now I know I can keep my head nice and warm while I admire it.

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10 Responses to Hang on to your Hat

  1. CJ says:

    That’s a really good hat. It sounds like the big storm was pretty bad where you are, hope it’s all back to normal now. I’m off on a bicycle-buying expedition now, wish me luck.

  2. M says:

    Why not get a, ‘Deerstalker’ they tie under the chin and they do them in Tweed

  3. disgruntled says:

    CJ – ooh ooh ooh, how exciting, have fun!
    M – I don’t think it’s possible to wear a deerstalker unironically. Even if stalking deer…

  4. Flighty says:

    Welcome to the Harris weed flat cap brigade! I’ve had one for years. xx

  5. Flighty says:

    Make that tweed! xx

  6. The main advantage I’ve found to my super lightweight racing bike is not added speed that makes me go like Froome up a mountain, no, it is the ability to lift it up above my head. After P4S last year I nearly killed myself by dropping the bike onto me whilst trying to lift it onto the roof the car whilst knackered from the 47 miles

    nice hat – I have a deerstalker – but I do wear it ironically.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I cut off the waist band of a pair of old tights to sew in to the back of P’s flat cap. It grips brilliantly and has been there for years now.
    A

  8. disgruntled says:

    Flighty – thanks (I knew what you meant)
    Paul – It’d have to be a super light bike before I could dream of lifting it onto a car roof…
    Mum – I was afraid you’d suggest that

  9. […] in thoroughly stress-testing my new hat with a variety of weather-related challenges. After Thursday’s workout, it got snowed on (briefly) on Friday (I was on the way to the Muckle Toon and got off the bus with […]

  10. […] hat. And not because it’s wonderfully warm and sunny, but involuntarily. My fabulous tweed cap has proved itself equal to most things, including Britain’s wettest winter since Noah, but […]

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