I too remember riding caped up a lot of the time. Mine was plastic, but the better kind, that lasted years. After all, a good percentage of riding in the UK was in the rain. For headgear most of us had a corduroy cheesecutter, rendered waterproof by the greasy tools that were rolled up in it, inside the cape.
-- John Betmanis Woodstock, Ontario Canada
On 11/01/2011 3:43 PM, Anthony Taylor wrote:
> Great story. Instead of a sou'wester, I always wore a boy scout beret in the
> rain, because they were waterproof too. Although made of wool, you could turn
> them inside out and carry water in them! Be prepared!
> Tony Taylor
> Manchester, NH
> To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> Sent: Tue, January 11, 2011 3:25:19 PM
> Subject: [CR] British Bike Capes
> I remember fondly, using those bright yellow capes and even sou' westers during
> rides in England. Everyone had one rolled up behind the saddle ( with the rich
> CTC types having the oilskin variety as apposed to our cheaper plastic ones ) .
> I seem to recall that ours only cost around ten shillings at Curry's in the High
> One ride which sticks in my memory ( for some reason ) was on the A66 from
> Penrith to Barnard Castle,,,normally a pretty hard ride due to the fact that it
> transversed the Pennines ..this ride in particular was after riding the day
> before to the Lake District from Tees-side on the Saturday , then back home on
> the A66 on the Sunday ( an excursion that we did regularly for road-race
> The winds in the area are predominately Westerly , so we expected ( as it turned
> out ) to be blown home....but..the day that I remember was out of this
> World,,the wind was stronger than anything in living memory, then a cry came out
> of " Cape up ",,because the rain had begun .
> We set off again duly "caped up " but the wind was so powerful that the capes
> formed sails , stretching out in front of the riders,,so the speed went up from
> manageable to downright dangerous ( but at the time we thought it was pretty
> awesome ),,,as it was, the capes weren't really needed as the rain didn't even
> hit the ground,,,blowing horizontly to the pavement,,,but, HAPPY DAYS.
> Colin Laing still sunbathing in CHANDLER Arizona..USA