Thank goodness for heated kit

19th January 2019 by  in The Dex Files

I was thinking about Thursday night’s slog back from Manchester. It was a miserable journey (and I say that as a southerner riding away from Manchester – which is normally the definition of a great journey!) In some ways it was one of the toughest trips I can remember riding. Certainly one of the toughest for a very long time.

Journeys like that without heated kit would be unthinkable now – it’s not that I’ve gone soft, just that it’s tough being exposed to the elements for such a long period, especially in the dark. You have to concentrate so hard that it’s physically draining. You’re tired and that just makes you feel the effects of the cold much more. Any draught down the neck or up the sleeve is like a razor on the skin that should be warm inside the kit. Shivering is a whole-body experience. Basically, you get worn down fast and the further you ride, the more it takes a toll on you. It’s the kind of thing we perhaps put up with in the Eighties when there was no alternative – not because we were macho and liked it.

Now there’s just no need to suffer in winter when you’re on the bike. With the heated gear – a full-sleeve jacket and heated gloves – you never get to that point. The worst of the cold is kept at bay.

Even so, that was a hellish ride home on the motorways. Just proves my long-standing theory: better to stay overnight and have a pleasant ride back on non-motorway roads if you can. Sadly, I couldn’t this time… but next time? I’ll try!

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