Spring is a season full of promise and anticipation for warmer weather, and the end of short winter days of ice and wind. But though we can expect temperatures to be significantly more favourable than earlier in the year, it is notoriously difficult to get clothing right. One minute it can be beautifully warm, the soft sunlight beating on our naked knees, the next a biting wind can pick up or rain can pour down from the sky, making us instantly regret the premature removal of layers.
Here’s our quick guide to what to keep handy during the season of spring showers.
Arm and leg warmers
We all know someone who rocks up to the first ride after the clocks go forward stubbornly wearing short sleeves as if it’s some sort of rule. But this is kind of bonkers, and in fact, could just be asking for trouble. The last thing you want is to find yourself shivering on the bike and this time of year can see temperatures swinging either side of comfortable at a moment’s notice. Make sure you’re always prepared by investing in a good set of arm and leg warmers which can easily be rolled up and stowed in a back pocket when you’re not wearing them.
You’ve heard of those fabled ‘spring showers’, right? Well, they’re a real thing. Don’t be fooled by that great burning orb of light in the sky, rain clouds can arrive without warning and though you might not want to wear a warm and water-resistant softshell from the beginning to the end of your ride, you’ll find a lightweight rain cape a godsend in inclement weather. Pull it on as the rain starts to fall and shed it as soon as the sun comes back out.
For those crisp spring mornings or breezy rides, a gilet is a great layering option that won’t cause the ‘boil in the bag’ effect you can often get from a rain cape. Sleeveless, wind-resistant and super-lightweight, a gilet is the easiest piece of apparel to roll up and shove into your jersey pocket, and possibly the most versatile.
If you find your feet are the first to feel the cold on the bike but you don’t want to pull on the heavily-insulated neoprene overshoes (justified!), then a pair of breathable oversocks might be your new favourite accessory as we transition from cold to not-so-cold.
Caps and gloves
Just like feet, hands can feel the cold before any other part of you, so a good, comfortable pair of lightweight gloves might just be the difference between enjoyment and misery. The same can be said for a cap. We lose a great deal of heat through our heads so making a habit out of wearing a hat is a wise idea, not just in spring but all year round.
A few things are true of spring: it is warmer, you will get wet, and it is followed closely by summer, the best season of them all. You should now be well prepared to deal with everything that the weather can throw at you, so until we do away with layers all together, happy pedalling!