Friday, April 20, 2018

There’s Nothing for Certain


Which is why I’m intrigued by stories of mystery and faith. That crux where one must rest despite ambiguity.

Which is why I suspect the Norwegians say there is no such thing as bad weather but bad clothes (gear). Readers of this blog, particularly of my posts pertaining to cycling, know I have issues with claims of waterproof. Waterproof for me has ended up being a misnomer. I am a waterproof skeptic.

So for my aborted ride home from Grand Rapids this past weekend I seriously looked at and came to the conclusion that I needed something at least a bit more water resistant that what I’d brought. Let’s face it: most of my performance gear has been collected off the ground from runners waiting at the start for the Chicago Marathon—something I last did five years ago. All that ended with the Boston Marathon bombing. Now you need a Presidential invitation to get within a half mile of the start and finish line.

Riding the 2.5 miles from my host’s house to the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids for my writer’s conference was like being lashed to the mast of a sailboat during a category 5 storm. I was absolutely soaked by the time I arrived and had to sit all day in damp clothing. The temp outside never rose above 35 degrees. On top of rain was freezing rain and 25 mph winds. It was crazy. It made more sense when it actually just settled down to snow because it only accumulated in the crocus and tulip beds and not on the sidewalk.

As a waterproof skeptic I’ve come to the conclusion that what passes for waterproof is financially cost-prohibitive and that anything less than Gore-Tex though still a gazillion dollars only works to a degree—like it keeps me dry on the outside yet WET on the inside from sweat. And I have a bone to pick about colors: usually black or charcoal (basically a light black) when visibility is a necessity.

I thought if I just can wear something that sheds rain or me somewhat dry then layers of wool will take care of the rest. At least I can stay warm while wet. But that theory got blown up this past weekend. When I was wet and cold wearing wool.

Even if nothing is for certain, I’m going to have to have a minimum of confidence that I’m not going to die of hypothermia. Thus, I’ll be looking for a new rain suit and plastics to go over my riding shoes.
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