Saturday, October 3, 2009


Not being a stranger to weather in the UK, my expectation for twenty days of riding was to be wet for ten of them. And having a frigid first trip to Inverness (previous to this ride, the most north I had been in Scotland), I anticipated being cold and wet along the northern coast. Hence, my luggage included wet weather gear (jacket, pants, helmet cover, shoe covers) and cold gear (tights, arm warmers, silk undershirt). In case we encountered sunshine, I also had a tube of 50 SPF sunblock. The most important article in my riding arsenal was the the Chamois Butt'r. When spending long hours in the saddle, it is important to protect your skin from excess moisture, vulgarly described as "greasing up." Hygiene is likewise necessary
For this ride, we were fortunate in the extreme. Only one day did it rain from start to finish. Two other days were wet in the morning and no precipitation in the afternoon. The clouds made for some dramatic scenery but drab pictures. If anybody in the group missed seeing my legs the first two days, then they had to wait until the last one, because all of the other days I wore either tights or rain pants. Only a few days were in just the jersey, usually it was accompanied by the wind jacket (warm) or rain jacket (cold wind protection).
I posted this entry to emphasize the point that you should have the proper clothing available when you take a cycling vacation. Don't "tough it out" and make yourself miserable because you didn't bring a good selection. Even though I dislike riding in the rain and detest a heavy headwind, neither of these obstacles caused more than mild irritation because I had the right gear. Plus, it feels so good when you stop. And, a pint of Guiness and a Steak & Ale pie smoothes away ruffled feathers.

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