Top Ten: Bad-Weather Bike Gear
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I have a very strong affinity for places lush and wet. I lived in Santa Fe for six years and, except for the snowy days, was always unsuccessfully fending off a sort of low-grade existential funk. Give me a dense green forest in the rain any day; my mood goes through the roof. If you also happen to like your evirons dominated by flora and precipitation, you can't do much better than Portland, Oregon, which is where I happily reside these days. Craptastically Scandinavian days are well on the way, if not fully settled in, and I'm practically giddy. “Foul” weather makes even the puniest of cycling forays more of an adventure, whether you like it or not. But what about you? Are you and your bike engaged in a farewell fling in anxious anticipation of the fall day that you'll dismiss her to the garage or basement? I sure hope not. If you'll just persevere, I think you'll find that it's so much fun to ride year round. Once you're out there in the weather, the experience of riding a bike becomes, for lack of a better word, elemental; sometimes you'll catch your fellow riders, few and far between, wearing big grins and waving like you're all in a secret club. They feel it too: We're meant to get wet and have a cold, dripping nose. More on this down below, but first: Here are my [very thoroughly tested] top ten personal favorites in the Bad Weather Cycling Gear department, the stuff that I have found to be the clutch apparel and equipment I want on me or my bike when the heavens hunker down and the “precip” kicks in, whether it's rain or sleet or snow. I've also provided cheap DIY alternatives after each entry.