There’s no Such Thing as Bad Weather…

… there’s only bad clothing.

Or so they say. And, the rain having set in more or less permanently since Monday, I attempted to put this to the test today. Yesterday I’d set off in jeans for the papershop, mistaking a brief letup in the rain for it stopping instead of it merely pausing for breath, and I’d quickly regretted it. Today I was going to dress properly: hat, gloves, waterproof jacket, even the dreaded waterproof trousers and just get on with it.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bad clothing

It doesn’t start too well, with a rubbing noise with every pedal stroke that has me spending a lot of time adjusting the front mudguard until I realise it is in fact my waterproof trousers making the noise. Either I’m a knock-kneed cyclist, or they’re too baggy. Still at least they’re not leaking. Yet

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bad clothing

I plod up the hill that is nearest village and out into the full force of the headwind. With my head down against it, my view is restricted to the peak of my cap now beaded with raindrops, a blurry section of road above my glasses, a less-blurry but rain-smeared section of road through my glasses, and my wet bike. Every so often a drop detaches itself from my cap and, if the wind is feeling kind, misses the tip of my nose.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bad clothing

When the road curves and I’m side on to the wind the headwind at least is reduced, but whichever ear is to windwards bears the brunt of the rain. My cords, protected from the rain by the over-trousers, are now steadily soaking up sweat instead. I’ve a feeling the only truly practical cycling wear for rain might be shorts, but I’m not quite ready for that yet, and neither, I suspect, is the world

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bad clothing

Someone has dug out some of the ditches, but not all the culverts are clear yet and  water still gathers on the tarmac On Big A Road, for the few short yards that I take it, three lorries power past me too fast and too close, sending up skirts of rain and spray.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bad driving clothing

Coming back, with a tail wind at last and the rain off my face, but without its cooling effect the heat from my face steams up my glasses and the road ahead now is either blurry or foggy or both

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bad clothing

Even the sheep have stopped eating and are gathered in the lee of walls and hedges, looking miserable the way only a wet sheep knows how. It seems even the finest and thickest merino wool would not be effective against this weather

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s only bad clothing

Coming back through Nearest Village and there’s a faint glow in the sky ahead, an easing at last of the rain, and a brightening of the hills around me. The rain – well, stops is too strong a word, but it certainly lessens. I am still damp through and steaming but my mood brightens along with the weather. Besides I am almost home

There’s no such thing as bad weather, there’s…

You know what? There is such a thing as bad weather. And whoever said that didn’t spend near enough time in Scotland, during the glorious month of May.

13 Responses to There’s no Such Thing as Bad Weather…

  1. Simon says:

    It’s true – there’s no such thing as bad clothing – there’s only bad weather.

  2. PaperBoy says:

    I think you may be right that shorts are the right way forward – but a word of caution – a friend of mine in Belgium was cycling when a hornet got trapped near his “fatsoenlijkmans regio” and proceeded to sting him on the upper-inner thigh. The sting was near a vein, which was constricted by the swelling and his entire left leg went purple and he was rushed to the ziekenhuis where lotions and potions were applied to take the swelling down so his leg returned to normal.

    Anyway I believe that I can guarantee that the world will be more ready for your legs than mine… mine are white enough that they make milk-bottles look positively tanned and being a bloke and an uncommitted cyclist – they’re also hairy.

  3. disgruntled says:

    Simon – yeah, and I’m beginning to think ‘a house’ is the only suitable clothing for the stuff we’ve had lately
    Paperboy – ah that would be the famed Scottish tan

    • PaperBoy says:

      Actually not Scottish at all – verifiably English, Irish, Belgian, Canadian – only apocryphally Scots (max 12.5%)

  4. As Billy Connelly was sometimes heard to say. “Get a life, get a coat”

    On the subject of shorts….the scouts were right all along!

  5. j says:

    Just pretend you’re Laetita Casta and cycle in your bikini 😉
    Am hoping the hospital and polis are near each other for the exposure issues, mind you the lorries are more likely to tailgate you than sloosh you

  6. disgruntled says:

    J – At least they’d see me!
    Richard – sadly my only option was the guides and they were a shorts-free zone at the time

  7. […] Hammet to invent the new literary category of Bike Noir, while a novelist in Scotland discovers there is such a thing as bad weather; she also notes a new, slim volume of bike poetry. An Eastside cyclist wonders why he still gets […]

  8. […] the sky? After all, it’s only water, my skin is waterproof, you dry out etc. etc. – how bad can it be? On the other hand, as other people have said more eloquently than me, what’s the point of […]

  9. […] on the bike, and riding in the rain usually isn’t all that bad (although it can still be quite grim if it puts its mind to it). But then, on the other hand, I cycle all through the year, through wind […]

  10. […] was half a mile down the road. I’d go on and describe it in more detail but I find I’ve said all I want to say about cycling in the rain already so you can just go and read it […]

  11. […] as bad weather, there’s only bad clothing’ – we’ve dealt with this topic many times before, and I’m afraid it’s total bollocks. Decent rain gear does one thing and […]

  12. […] saying ‘no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing‘ can get in the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: