“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.
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.
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!