It was a shame when Newcastle ska band The Porkers were made to change their name from The Pork Hunts. The only upside was it left the name free for we pork hunts who get rained on while everyone else goes to work beneath a roof of some kind. Hence forth all transport cyclists shall be known as Pork Hunts.
Legal or not, when the rain starts belting down, the footpath becomes a barrier protected Cycle track for anyone who values their life. So in a sense we pork hunts want for no more than our porky friends the Netherlands—in those times when we are getting drenched anyway. I’ve written before about our Dutch friends’ blind spot when it comes to rain protection and how canopies could shore up bike patronage there. I also know from conversations that many of my Dutchy friends agree that canopies would be useful, they’re just embarrassed to say so in public for fear of being branded as pussies.
But let’s forget that! There is a way we as individuals can combat the indignity of being sweaty, rained on and covered in road grime on our way to posh meetings. It’s the capitalist/individualist way. It is to spend shit loads of our own money on prestige rain gear then perpetuate our little white lie that inside we’re as cosy and dry as those folk on the bus.
You may opt for the $995 Paul Smith 531 Orange “Weatherproof” jacket with “temperature control”. With this little number Smiffy has chosen the coveted Swiss-made Schoeller ‘C-Change’ fabric, made by actual Swiss people, who used to be shepherds. However, by not getting wiped out in ze war, they can now call themselves experts in everything, from chocolate to state of the art nanotech bead-and-breathe miracle yarns. If you believe their yarns, you will believe that each thread in Smiffy’s sartorial wonder coat will actually shrink in response to your rising body temperature as you start to perspire, letting that heat and perspiration into the atmosphere without letting bucket loads of the atmosphere back into the jacket. (Brief aside: a roof would be better, but you don’t want that, I know.)
Prefer something more timeless? (And let’s face it, Paul Smith’s regular clientele buy their clothes for one wear.) It’s just a little more money, but then you get just a little bit more of that Schoeller ‘C-Change’ amazingness, which by this time you must be thinking is made from rare elements. It’s better than that. It’s made by people whose grandparents were shepherds and who now operate ski resorts with downhill mountain bike runs for the Summer. Any water inside a jacket like that is water you put there yourself, by your own lack of faith. Forgot to mention: that’s the Mission Workshop Stirman topcoat, spelt “Styrman” for effect (darn Ghetto names!)
Of course, if you don’t mind looking like a pimp…
…you could wrap yourself in Swiss made nanoshit for a quarter of the price thanks to our ever faithful pleb mates at Chainreaction. But somehow I find an all black spray jacket lacking a certain je ne sais quoi, even if it is made from techy Swiss yarn. In Australia we might say such attire could make one look slightly “bogan“. In the Netherlands you might say it looked like scooter attire. In the UK you would say the guy in that jacket is on a bike he has nicked and is taking to market.
What pork hunts we are! You can cover yourself from head to toe in “urban kit” as they call it, and ride to work with cold jets streaming in through a half dozen ingress points. You can power-commute in your lycra with dry clothes in a bag. Of all the available options, I’m least averse to being drenched in all wool, telling myself I’m no worse off than the poor sheep.
If you know something I don’t, don’t keep it a secret.