It’s been a busy month. It’s also been a terribly wet month up here on the upper West Coast. And when it hasn’t been rainy, it’s been cold - at least cold for a West Coaster.
The main reason I am really aware of this is I now only have two choices for getting to school - my Vespa or my bike. That’s because number one daughter drives her sister, a neighbour and herself across town to the French Immersion High School every day. That’s mostly a very good thing but I am having to get used to being car-less this year.
This morning, the temperature dropped down to 3° C. (that’s about 37° F. according to a temperature conversion site) and it felt cold to me. Yes, I know, if you’re from the prairies or the mid-west or practically anywhere else but the on a coast, that’s not very cold but to a person born and bred being able to smell the salt in the ocean on a breezy day, 3° is really cold!
I don’t have a particularly long ride to school in the morning but I have been making a lot of trips on the way home in recent days. I’m beginning to find my choice of scooter clothing to be - well - not good enough for cold weather.
So what am I wearing?
In the rain, I have waterproof pants that I bought from MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop). They are completely waterproof and keep my legs warm in both rainy and cold weather. On Mondays, when I teach PE, I even wear them over shorts!
For my feet, I wear cycling shoe covers. These are pretty much waterproof and, as an added bonus, they keep your feet warm. Unfortunately, they only protect the top and sides of your shoes so if you step in a big puddle, your feet will get wet.
For a jacket, I wear a waterproof shell that is really waterproof - as long as I fold over and secure the velcro patches on the front seam. The times I forgot to do this, I had a nice big wet spot across the chest of my shirt. Thank goodness for air dryers.
I have a fleece or two that I can wear under my shell. In the rain, this works pretty well. When it’s cold outside, though, my core starts to get cold. I have put up to three layers of fleece and still will get cold, especially if I am going to the city.
As for gloves, I use kayak paddling gloves when it’s really rainy. They start off warm and work for a while but become soggy after awhile.
During cold weather, I wear lobster gloves - they are sort of like mittens but have two fingers in each part which gives you some mobility but also added warmth. Unfortunately, on longer rides, my fingers start to freeze, even if I wear another pair of gloves inside the lobster gloves.
So, that’s what I am currently wearing for wet and cold weather. Now to look at what’s out there that will keep me warm and dry - or, I should say, warmer and drier.
And, no, I haven’t managed to get my camera back from my sister yet.