Last Friday night was the biggest storm I’ve ridden through this year, and it was the first real test of my new O2 Rainwear in a serious downpour. I don’t know what else to say besides that it worked! I was comfortable, and I arrived at my destination dry. And I went ballroom dancing, so I needed to be presentable when I got there. Here are the details of my setup:
- The O2 Rainwear lives up to its promise to be waterproof, breathable, and lightweight.
- The Primary Jacket has all kinds of cool features like a built-in hood can be easily rolled-up and stored in the collar, pit-zips, a back pocket, and lots of drawtsrings and velcro for a perfect fit. It seems like the collar is a little tight around my neck, but I suppose that is a good thing to keep the water out.
- The Calhoun Pants seemed a little big for me at first, but after riding a bit I realized they are just right. They have zippers at the ankles to make it easy to take on and off with shoes on. There is elastic around the cuffs and waist, and the waist has a draw cord.
- For my feet I use waterproof socks with Crocs. This solution was suggested by a friend, and it works surprisingly well. The only downside is I have to carry an extra pair of shoes and socks to wear when I get where I’m going.
- Its usually warm enough when its raining not to need gloves, but when I need them I use a regular wool pair. They aren’t waterproof, but they keep me warm even when wet.
- To carry things I just use my regular Banjo Brothers saddlebags. They are water resistant, and it takes a long time for them to soak through. I put anything that absolutely can’t get wet in a plastic bag.
- I don’t always wear a helmet, but I do with this setup for two reasons. First, I feel like I’m more likely to fall when its wet. And second it helps keeps the hood out of my field of vision when looking over my shoulders.
- The jacket, pants, socks, and gloves all fit nicely into a small stuff sack I can take with me anywhere and always be prepared. The crocs don’t fit, but they are less important in a pinch.
In summary, riding in the rain is really not a big deal. When you have the right gear, its actually a lot of fun being out there splashing around in the puddles. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment and puts you in touch with the world around you. As I was riding over 27mph with a stiff wind at my back on a long straight away, I couldn’t help but think to myself- this is LIVING!