There’s no such thing as bad weather…

July 21, 2011 at 20:56 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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…only the wrong shoes, as I found out today. Decked out in head to toe GoreTex, I braved Sydney’s wettest seventy-two hours for sixty-nine years to cycle into the city to meet someone. (I do love the way the SMH manages to find some sort of weather record virtually every single day. Things like ”The most rain on a day following a dry day during a week when the wind only blew in a southerly direction since 1972!‘ All good stuff – if there’s one things that has survived from the colonial days it is the oh-so-British obsession with the weather.)

I was wearing my walking boots, as I thought they would be waterproof, but alas they were not. Or rather, they boots themselves were, but the action of pedalling caused a gap to appear around my ankles – a gap into which large quantities of water flowed, neatly directed off my waterproof over-trousers. There weren’t many other cyclists out there tonight, but I did see one who perhaps had a better idea – he was wearing board shorts and Crocs. I guess if your feet are going to get wet anyway, you might as well have shoes that allow the water to flow out, as opposed my my boots which gradually filled up with water. By the time I got home I was carrying my two own private puddles around with me – squelch squelch squelch.

Notwithstanding my wet feet, the rest of me was warm and dry, and I did get a certain satisfaction cruising along, feeling very superior to the pedestrians scuttling along huddled under umbrellas and motorists enduring the inevitable gridlock that seems to accompany wet weather.

Whilst I was (mostly) waterproof, however, my bike lights were not. This is a bug-bear of mine. I have two lights on the back of the Radish, both reasonably expensive affairs from reputable bike shops, and both of which claim to be ‘waterproof’. Well, they are not. Take them out in wet weather, and water finds its way into the contacts. This causes them to switch on and off at random. It was frustrating enough to get back to my bike (which had been parked outside in the rain) to find one of the lights had evidently been on all day and the battery had gone flat. However, it was rather more concerning to arrive home and find that one of them had switched itself off during the journey, and the other had gone from solid to flashing mode. I don’t really want to be riding along in the dark with no tail lights in this kind of weather. Can anyone suggest a genuinely waterproof option?

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