Hail Caesar. And a fair bit of sleet, wind and rain thrown in for good measure

What little snow we had (and we got off lightly in this area) has gone, and it’s business as usual weather-wise – in other words rain and wind. I had planned on joining the Glasgow Spokes group for an MTB ride around Mugdock Park this morning, but at the point where a decision was required the heavens had been depositing a year’s supply of hailstones which were so big it sounded like some sort of demented samba band had taken up residence in our bin enclosure. Not surprisingly I decided to give the ride a miss. Now at this point I hear you ask how I ever get out cycling given that it rains pretty much all year round. Well, the difference is that summer rain is distinguishable from its winter cousin by dint of being several degrees C warmer. Well, that’s the theory anyway. Irrespective of what season it is, the cold rain that falls here has an abrasive quality that should really be marketed as a viable alternative to waxing and defoliation, given that it can remove the top layers from your skin in the time it takes to even think “Brazilian”. And when the wind is added to that, then you get death rain that comes in at you horizontally like a well-aimed and particularly well-sharpened scythe. To add ironic insult to any real or metaphorical injury accruing from such Grimly Reaped precipitation, that headwind you encounter invariably seems to be a headwind irrespective of which way you are facing.

But anyway. By 11.30am I had got bored of looking at the inside of my house and not even the pouting and shouting of Andy Murray could keep me indoors. Fortunately this period of fidgettiness coincided with what passes for a break in the weather around here. The yella thing was glinting through the storm clouds and if one was in any sort of good humour, then the sky beyond them could easily pass for a nice shade of Cerulean. Normally it is all fifty shades of grey at the one time although it is more likely to give you a right good soaking than a right good seeing to. I decided to don my winter clothing (no whips involved) and head out for a real road ride instead of embarking on yet another turbo session. I had hopes of doing the 43 miles that I needed to take me to 600miles in readiness for the last push in my Strava January challenge (that’s another story – report back in later in the week for that grande dénouement). However, 23 miles in the hailstones returned with a vengeance and home I headed, tailwind between my legs.

It did, however, get me to thinking it was about time I charted the layers that are needed for a Scottish cyclist in “normal” winter weather. I shall now do that while I ponder how I actually can move in all this lot.

Layer 1: rainjacket. I alternate this with a winter wind jacket depending on whether it is just merely wet or windy or whether it's wet AND windy

Layer 1: rainjacket. I alternate this with a winter wind jacket depending on whether it is just merely wet or windy or whether it’s wet AND windy

Underlayer - in this case a long-sleeve shirt

Underlayer – in this case a long-sleeve shirt

under-underlayer. This one is optional but today I needed it

under-underlayer. This one is optional but today I needed it

Windstopper skull cap, long-fingered Windstopper gloves and Rapha merino buff

Windstopper skull cap, long-fingered Windstopper gloves and Rapha merino buff

My snazzy (and toasty) new Craft Extreme baselayer with Windstopper front panel. Sweat and nipple marks are optional

My snazzy (and toasty) new Craft Extreme baselayer with Windstopper front panel. Sweat and nipple marks are optional

Thinsulate socks AND overshoes

Thinsulate socks AND overshoes

and not forgetting my very comfy and warm Pearly Iz winter bib tights

and not forgetting my very comfy and warm Pearly Iz winter bib tights

What is very ironic is that there have been days where I haven’t been wearing significantly fewer layers – in the summer. Maybe I should start just wearing a long black hooded cloak and carrying an hourglass just to get my own back on the weather.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s