A tyre, attire, I tire

The (for me) expensive, non-cycling-specific waterproof jacket I bought shortly before The Scary Fall felt much too warm yesterday morning. Another reason to aim not to put weight back on, so I can get my money’s worth next winter. Then again maybe I could try to eBay it – I did get it in a sale so might be able to get my money back.

Good job I had decided my first day back commuting as an actual cyclist was still going to involve the train on the way in, to give my bikey sense and pedalling muscles a chance to wake up before tackling uphills first thing in the morning. Not that it would really matter how sweaty I get, as my homemade deodorant is The Bomb (top tip, folks!).

The jacket also really doesn’t go with the clothes I’d started wearing again in the last two months – the short dress/tunic I’ve had on most work days sticks out the bottom of it in a most unbecoming way. Not that I ever have a hope in hell of looking cool on a bike.

This sort of thing is part of what I call the Gigantic Faff Factor of cycling.

It probably doesn’t help that, as per my natural herd-sceptical tendencies, I haven’t neatly slotted into one tribe or another and so have to make a lot of ad hoc decisions about whether to kit or not to kit. I am no more likely to ever be the kind of dedicated athlete some disgruntled pedestrian friends of mine call The Ones With All The Gear than one of those helmet-free Kooky Girls.

Since I started cycling properly in May last year, I’ve been cobbling together equipment and clobber as the need arises, usually cheap with the occasional “investment”. This includes various eccentricities, from the compromise between convenience and security of always leaving one pannier on the bike secured with a coil-type lock, to wearing a large sun visor under my helmet when it rains to keep my specs dry. The most popular with the world at large so far is the occasional use of bungee chords to tuck the bottom of my flared jeans away from my chain, prompted by the lack of things available for that specific purpose that can make it all the way round my cankles and stay there.

As it turned out, the temperature dropped during the course of yesterday and it got wet, so the jacket was perfect for the cycle back – I just wish I’d remembered to pack overtrousers. I’m going to make myself a Gigantic Faff checklist and stick it to the wall by the front door.


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