It has been a while since I’ve had anything noteworthy to write about but today I shall talk about rain. Considering the unpredictable Highveld weather and today’s wet weather riding experience I feel I have some valuable information to share.
I’m not going to bore you by repeating a bunch of tips for wet weather riding. Let’s rather talk about rain gear instead, specifically the run-of-the-mill rain suits found in most bike shops. Firstly, let’s understand one very important fact; in my experience, all rain suits are crap. Yes, all of them. Some are great for the first week or so & then quickly loses its ability to keep water out. Some don’t even last that long. I recently acquired one which zipper disintegrated the first time I put it on. I managed to perform a quick DIY fix only for the zipper to pull apart not far down the road. There I was with rain coat flapping in the wind like a superhero cape doing my best Batman impersonation. It must have been a long and tough search for the manufacturer to find the worst zipper on earth.
I have even gone so far as to contact a local manufacturer to persuade them to produce a biker specific rain suit. Try getting an off-the-shelf rain coat that fits over your riding jacket & has sleeves long enough to reach past your elbows. It is impossible! Even the sleeves on a 4XL don’t reach further but at least it has enough volume to accommodate your riding jacket, backpack & a giraffe. They replied & said I should visit their showroom. I’ve had 2 of your products & both were shit, so I don’t think I will.
This morning I tried a different rain pant & it worked fine for a while. Any weak spot or entry point for water can & will become evident in a blizzard at about 100km/h. Freeway speeds will force water into any opening & then eventually, with a wind chill factor of -2 make its way to your testicles.
The other option for arriving at work without shriveled wet raisin balls is to drive a cage but who in their right mind would want to do that? 2+ hours to get home? I don’t think so. I did it once many years ago, & decided that it’s a very bad idea. It took me 2 hours & 45 minutes to get home when it’s usually 35 minutes on a bike.
Should anybody find a rain suit that doesn’t cost as much as my entire wardrobe & actually works, please let me know. I’m interested.