Rain Cape Season

It’s January, and it’s the rainy season. The last week has been pretty wet, though there have been some fairly dry days thrown in. Of course, the days I ended up riding were the wet ones, not the dry ones!

My typical way of dealing with rain is layers of wool. A good thick wool sweater or jacket will do well against drizzle and light rain. Wool pants stay warm while wet, and synthetic pants dry fast. I don’t like putting on rain gear unless I really need it. But this week, I’ve really needed it. So, out comes the rain cape.

My current cape is a bright yellow rubbery number made by Grundens and sold by Rivendell. (Note: These don’t appear to be currently available.) This replaced a waxed canvas cape made by Carradice. That cape got yanked from my bike last winter.

Initially I didn’t care much for the new cape, but now that I’ve gotten used to it, it’s a keeper. It’s not as cool looking as the Carradice, but it is longer, so it covers more. Plus, the Grundens cape is lighter weight. One big thing I like about the Grundens is since it’s such a big, bright thing, I’m a lot more visible on grey rainy afternoons. When I was riding around on Friday during the heaviest of the rains, the number of cars that actually stopped for me and let me pass was pretty big!

The biggest benefit to a good cape is it keeps me dry without having to wear rain gear all the time. You only want to wear the cape when it’s raining, otherwise it’s a bit awkward. I’d rather ride around in normal clothes than be swathed head-to-toe in Showers Pass.

And having a good piece of rain gear makes riding in the rain nice. I typically try to not ride in harder rain. (Thank you, not having a “regular” job and the abundance of weather apps!) But y’know? It’s not that bad. I like seeing other folks riding around during days like this. And I get all Walter Mitty* and pretend I’m on some Rough Stuff Fellowship ride from days of yore. Hell, some of the puddles I’ve seen would need to be forded with bike carried on my shoulders!

*Is it a coincidence that ol’ Walt was a Valley Boy like me?


2 thoughts on “Rain Cape Season

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  1. Vaude makes some good bike capes. The Cover II Poncho is actually a cape with closed sides, slits forvarm holes, hand straps inside and an internal belt to keep the back fabric under control. There are clear side panels on the hood to aid peripheral vision. Some sizes are super cheap on Amazon.

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