Ne’er cast a clout

“Ne’er cast a clout till May be out”  (Traditional saying)

I’ve been struggling to think of a pursuit that requires more items of clothing than cycling outside in the North East of Scotland during the Winter.

Over the past couple of months, preparing for a ride has been a bit of a rigmarole.  A typical outing has required:  cycling helmet, warm hat, snood, base layer top, short sleeved cycling jersey, long sleeved cycling jersey, wind-proof vest, jacket, underwear, cycling shorts, full length tights, winter socks, cycling shoes, shoe covers and thick winter gloves.

Yes, it was possible to get a little warm, to overheat.  There was certainly a tendency to get damp from the inside during a long ride. but I would rarely describe myself as “hot”. The elements and the nagging cold were powerful enough to fight their way through.  Fingers and toes would suffer most, a combination of restricted circulation and the persistent chill.

Saturday Ride

View from the top of the climb on Saturday’s ride

This week, has seen a bit of a change.  An increase in temperature has seen the acceleration of Spring, new leaves are emerging, there are flowers everywhere and cyclists have emerged in abundance.

Today in particular has got everyone excited.  Easter has been accompanied by a beautiful day.  There isn’t a cloud to be seen.

The nice weather has resulted in people throwing caution to the wind… people have been casting clouts left, right and centre!  I have to admit, I am also guilty.  For today’s ride I discarded no less than 5 items of clothing.

Benachie across Loch Skene

Benachie across Loch Skene this morning

The ride itself was lovely.  The sun was out, the birds were singing, lambs frolicking.  I think this is what cycling was invented for.  The lack of protection also made me feel somehow more connected to my surroundings, more free.

I appreciate the advice, but I say forget May, live a little, cast a clout!

Snow on the Hills

Be warned! There is still snow in them there hills!

4 thoughts on “Ne’er cast a clout

  1. Philip Squire

    I had been aware of an anglicised version….don’t shed nowt till May is out…..but having quickly researched this (for the first ever time) it does appear that your traditional version is more widely recognised. I’m surprised you can move with all those layers on. A keen cyclist advised me that real cyclists go commando!

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    1. Paul Squire Post author

      I’ve just done a search on “How to improve cycling performance”, and I’m not sure I’m willing to do that many of the suggestions! I think I’ll stick to good old fashioned hard work. If that doesn’t do the trick I may consider removing my underpants!

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