I am on a bit of a cycle commute theme at the moment and I know one of the main things which people say stops them cycling is the weather and for 'weather' most people are refering to the rain. As a SCUBA diver and hill walker of old I believe the elements are just something to be tamed. I think it was the late Alfred Wainwright who put it so well: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing". And what goes for undersea and hill top can equally be applied to cycle commuting in my opinion.
Despite living in Manchester, which is typically regarded as a rainy place (although less than the UK average), I cycle commute between 3-5 times most weeks, which is 6-10 distinct chances of being cold and wet. I have never not cycled because of the weather. In three years I have gone to work in the car less than ten times and that was usually because I was going to relatives a few hours away straight from work.
I am not superhuman and neither do I have very expensive, weather dispersing clothing. On the top half I usually wear a breathable layer or two +/- a cycling jacket/jersey. The bottom half is adorned in a pair of quick drying shorts or tracksters. I wear multi-activity shoes and if it is very wet I wear some waterproof socks (I do not like cold, wet feet). I usually use cycling gloves of some description and these get thicker depending on the weather. When the temp' falls below 5 degrees Celsius I start to wear a thin balaclava and in the snow/sleet/hail I don ski goggles. Of course it helps hugely I use a practical bike with full length mudguards and flaps for commuting.
Even so, on most commutes I could happily cycle in a tee shirt, fleece and jeans if I was so inclined. The perception, particularly of the amount it rains, is greatly exaggerated by people as far as I am concerned. Maybe some are just looking for excuses? So, I have a new project. Over the next year I am going to record the weather on each of my commutes and publish this on a monthy basis.
Why just the commutes? Because I cannot choose the times and am forced to cycle whatever the weather, rather than when I cycle for pleasure. Who am going to convince/persuade by this? Probably no one at all but it will satisfy me and hopefully be of interest to fellow cycle commuters. Roll on December.
|A bit of overkill?|