Sunday, 29 June 2014

This is perfect Fred!

There aren't many times when this is what I would describe as prefect, but for an hour and a half today, it was just that.

The time to find out what works and what doesn't is not when you're already half way across the continent, so I figured that I might as well enjoy this for what it was worth.

There were a number of unanswered questions I wanted to look at.

How well would the new waterproof jacket hold up? Did I really need to prove that my old walking trousers were completely shot? How cold do you get when it's chucking it down? What's the correct level of underclothing?

Bearing in mind that temperatures fall by 3 degrees /1000 feet under standard conditions, it can still be darn cold at the top of a mountain in the middle of the summer and if you're wet, this can soon turn nasty, nasty.

Set against this, is the whole issue of weight. Do you carry less and get wet, do you carry less and dive for cover when it's really hoofing it down? I only have the bags shown in this picture and apart from some food storage space in the back of my shirt, I don't plan to add to it.

The over-trousers lasted about 5 minutes. The barrier between the rain and my skin though was significantly better than nothing. I will replace them because of their proximity to marginally better than useless and because the combination of wind and rain could cool my legs rapidly at lower temperatures and I can't afford to start pulling muscles.

The waterproof overshoes fared slightly better, but since the zip has gone on the back of one, they were only marginally better. My feet did not get soaked or cold though. Damp would be a better description.

The jacket did well. No jacket will wick your perspiration away fast enough to stop you getting damp when you're working hard, but I was certainly not wet through. Big tick for the jacket.

I wore a pair of surgical gloves under my fingerless mitts and they again kept the edge off cold fingers and were really comfortable. They also allowed me to assist another rider who had a puncture without getting my hands covered in oil. A very light weight add-on to the tool kit.

The strangest benefit to this ride, was discovering that when it rains really hard, the drops hitting the touch screen of the GPS, change the page and therefore have the potential, unlikely but catastrophically possible, to delete all my route maps!!!!!

I am going to fashion a little plastic cover for it as a consequence. I wasn't expecting to be doing that.

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