Wednesday 23 November 2011

Cycling fast through the puddles

I went to help Steve Ellis with his ice-bats again this morning. More about that in a couple of days, as I'm making a video about it.

I had to ride to the ice-skating rink this morning in time for the short period that we were allowed on the ice. When I set off from home it was tipping down and also quite cold.

I wore my rain cape as I could put it on last minute and not have to change clothes. Some people may think that capes are not fashionable, but I'd answer that by saying that when riding a bike in heavy rain you're not on a cat-walk. Besides, with a cape you can wear any clothes that you like when cycling in the rain, and are not restricted to waterproof "cycling clothing". Also, you don't sweat in a cape like you can in waterproofs.

I wasn't the only person in a cape this morning. These two ladies were in front of me just as we all arrived together at the ice-skating rink. Both of them had also taken the sensible option of a cape to keep themselves warm and dry.

The slogan on the back of the woman on the right says "Today I ride fast through the puddles". It's part of a marketing campaign for a probiotic drink. There's a nice, and somewhat unusual, video which goes with the campaign:

Of course, when you ride through puddles you suffer not only from rain falling from above but also from water being sprayed towards you by your tyres. For riding comfortably in rain, mudguards and mudflaps are essential. It's also worth thinking about puncture resistant tyres for winter. Our selection of winter tyres increase your chance of not having to stop when cycling in winter.

If it wasn't for seeing these two ladies wearing capes this morning, and it reminding me of the video, it wouldn't have appeared on the blog. I'm not convinced personally of the value of taking probiotic dietary supplements and I try to avoid dairy productsThe European Food Safety Authority has so far rejected 260 claims from manufacturers of these supplements.

However, I'm rather positive about using rain-capes to keep you dry when cycling. They're not intended for sporty riding, but for everyday use they work magnificently to keep both your upper body and also your legs dry when riding in normal clothes. If you want to stay dry while riding fast through the puddles, consider buying the same good quality cape as I use, in our online shop,


Maarten said...

The video is somewhat funny, even though they reinforce the wrong assumption about profile on a bicycle tire. The best profile on a bicycle tyre is 'none', yes even in the rain. If it isn't, then your tire must be under inflated. See

David Hembrow said...

Maarten, you're absolutely right. However, I thought her interest in the profile of the tyre was purely down to how much water she thought it would pick up. Surely for such a dedicated puddle cyclist the risk of slipping is a secondary consideration.

Anonymous said...

Lol! You're both missing the point; the 'profile' bit was merely the lampooning of the exaggerated attention to detail top athletes show towards their equipment.


perthcyclist said...

I find my rain cape frustrating though. Usually when it is raining here it is also howling a gale, and it's twice as much effort to ride with the cape billowing out around me :/

Gordon L Belyea said...

I concur with your comments about rain capes. They do allow enough breeze in so that one doesn't baste in one's own juices, as is the case with a rain jacket. As well, the cape or poncho folds up much more compactly for storage in one's pannier.

However, unlike "Anonymous", I find that the rain doesn't so much blow up under the cape as it plasters it to one's body, and then proceeds to run down and absolutely soaks the legs. I find I need to wear rain pants with the cape when there's any amount of precipitation.


Anonymous said...

Nou, prachtig filmpje hoor. Mooi in beeld gebracht met passende muziek en.... mooie gelaatsuitdrukkingen vol spannende verwachting. Poëtisch !