The wet weather is coming. And shortened days. I am fortunate to live in a temperate climate. There is little or no snow. And the temperature seldom drops below freezing. But half of the year is cool and wet. And, there are fewer daylight hours when the daily commute is more often in the dark. From October through March cycling is a challenge. They key is to stay dry, warm and safe. Over the years, I have accumulated a wet weather cycling wardrobe well suited to the Vancouver weather and keep these items in my backpack at all times.
ARC’TERYX GORE-TEX Jacket. ARC’TERYX is a Vancouver outdoor apparel company that designs and manufacturers products specifically designed for the serious outdoor enthusiast – backcountry skiers, hikers, rock climbers. Their products are rugged, functional and long lasting. My Gore-Tex jacket is 5 years old and still very serviceable. The features I like include:
- an oversized hood that easily goes over my cycling helmet when I am caught in a heavy downpour;
- velcro straps at the wrist that are easily adjusted to fit over gloves of different thicknesses;
- zipped breast pockets that are easily accessible when cycling;
- Gore-Tex is breathable so I never get overheated; and,
- the jacket is functional throughout the day when I am not on the bike.
MEC Rain Pants. Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) is an iconic Vancouver outdoor equipment and apparel retailer. I have had a pair of their rain pants for 5 years or more and use them not only for cycling but hiking and walking as well. Throughout the winter months I keep them rolled up in my backpack readily available if necessary. The feature I like most about this pant are the full length, two-way zippers on the legs. When they are unzipped to the knee, they are very easy to get on over other pants and cycling shoes. Also, when cycling I can unzip the upper portion for ventilation when necessary.
Louis Garneau Helmet Cover. Louis Garneau is a Canadian cycling apparel and equipment manufacturer. I ride one of their carbon road bikes and have discovered their clothing items, besides being very well designed and made, fit me better than any other manufacturers products. I wear their helmet cover more than I expected. It is waterproof and windproof so even in the dry cool weather I prefer to have it on.
Louis Garneau Cold Weather Gloves. These gloves are perfect for my riding conditions – waterproof, windproof, warm and comfortable. I particularly like the snug fit around the wrist keeping the warmth in without feeling tight or restrictive in any way.
Louis Garneau Shoe Covers. I would not be without these. My feet get cold first – before my hands or head. These neoprene covers are waterproof, very warm and easy to get on. I wear them fall, winter and spring in both wet and dry conditions.