The Nine Kit

Riding in bad weather is an incredible experience assuming you don’t fall off and break your hip, or you don’t get hit by a car. Those realities aside, the weather adds a dimension to the ride that you simply don’t have on a sunny day, lovely as they are. The other day I was riding early on a cool morning with a light mist. The humidity in the air seemed to dampen the sounds of the city a bit, and the warm moist air wrapped about me like a cloak. At sea level, it was raining, but the clouds were low enough that as I climbed up away from the coast, I rose out of the rain and into the clouds which seemed to cling to the treetops as they clawed their way along the hillside. The early rays of the sun were trying to penetrate the clouds, and in some spots where the could cover was thinner, the rays burst forth with stunning clarity.

I was in another world entirely.

I keep wearing my S-Works Evade helmet when the weather gets bad outside. And every time, it’s a fresh disappointment that I don’t look like Boonen or Lizzie, who both look amazing in that festering turd of a helmet. But I don’t. I blame my grapefruit-shaped head and the vaguely bewildered look on my face. I’ve thought about ways to make my head look less like a fruit of a popular primary color, but everything I try leaves me with this same stupid round head. If you can’t choose your parents, you should at least be allowed to choose your face; it seems like a basic humanitarian issue.

Ugly as it is, however, it is very warm and keeps the wind off my wet, flowing locks, and it also has enough surface area that I have added various strips of black reflective tape to help make me more visible in order to satisfy to my lingering desire not to end up on a texting-driver’s bumper. (I’ve also covered bits of my Nine Bike with the same tape, and it is awesome.) The Castelli Gabba jersey is the go-to wet weather riding jersey, also with some reflective materials on it, and in Spinal Tap Black it matches the V-Bibs perfectly. This is a jersey that will make even the most stubborn fair-weather rider get excited about rain.

Finally, I’ve been wearing DeFeet’s orange Cyclismo socks in bad weather along with the Orange Damsels, but with the mercury dropping, I’m going to switch over to the orange Slipstreams to keep my feet toasty in the coming cool rain. And, I’m considering designing an all-orange V-Jersey. You heard me.

There is a fine line between being safely visible and looking like a bicycling traffic cone, but the best rides are the rides we come home from. Indulge in the magic that only a Rule #9 ride can bring you, but make sure you stay safe, and keep your Nine Kit in good taste.

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

Related Posts

77 Replies to “The Nine Kit”

  1. @Ron

    Since we’re talking Rule #9 riding, can someone suggest knee warmers for cool, wet weather? I’m talking about the ones that have a fleece lining and then the sheer protective outside. I have some cheapos for commuting, would like some for actual road riding.

    I have DeFeet Kneekers and those are great in the cold, would like some better suited to the wet. Thanks!

    Honestly, the wool is going to be the best performer in the wet, all the other fabrics lose their insulative properties once wet.

    I did use the Endura knee warmers with some wind stopping material last winter and they’re very good, but for the really wet, cold stuff, I’ll reach for wool every time.

  2. @PeakInTwoYears

    @Barracuda

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @frank

    but for the really wet, cold stuff, I’ll reach for wool every time.

    Wool is magic. Ask a fucking sheep who lives outside in all weathers.

    Not sure a wether would be fucking !   See what I did there !

    Chapeau, sir!

    I digress however.

    Yes, Merino is the goods.  Merino base layer especially.  Gets wet, no problems, stay warm and not uncomfortable.  Great stuff.  Those sheep no what its all about.

    Sadly my Rapha merino base is nearing the end of its life.  Time to sell a kidney and get another

  3. Fall is officially here in the PNW, but you wouldn’t know it. It was 25.5 here FFS. Not that any of that should matter to me at all, I haven’t swung a leg over the TT in far too long. Missed you fuckers…… I’m back.

  4. @scaler911

    Fall is officially here in the PNW, but you wouldn’t know it. It was 25.5 here FFS. Not that any of that should matter to me at all, I haven’t swung a leg over the TT in far too long. Missed you fuckers…… I’m back.

    FFS. I’ve had three rides since coming back from South Africa after starting a new job. Cogal Saturday will get the engine humming again, I’m hoping. It’s always tough getting back into it.

  5. @mouse

    @frank

    Orange Velotoze.

    Get on it. Forget about Slipstreams as nice as they are, your feet will still be wet.

    Velotoze; toasty dry.

    Well, dry in the sense that no rain gets in.

    As soon as you work hard or the temp gets above 10 degrees, the swamp foot that comes from your sweat kinda negates the benefits…

  6. @Barracuda

    @universo

    @Mikael Liddy

    Oooo, thought the Barbie (Ken) image had been eradicated!

    You can also tell that it’s a photo from last year, as Im willing to punt that with the arrival of twin Velonippers the eyes would be looking alot darker from the sleep deprivation.

    Congrats @Mikael Liddy on the arrival if not already stated somewhere in the depths of another post somewhere.

    Pretty sure both photos are from the same day in about May or June this year, but you’re not wrong in saying the Redback hasn’t seen much action recently. Thankfully the “blimping” isn’t in full effect just yet.

  7. Our six man group rolled out at 9AM today in 3 degrees C and a slight cross wind.  The route was to include two Cat 3 climbs and a total of 112 km.  I thought I was kitted up appropriately, we all did.  Forecast called for 30% chance of showers, but they were to be north of us.  An hour into it and we were hit with sleet and then a sideways rain as we were midway through the first climb.  The descent was sketchy to say the least.  Espresso stop was much needed at 52 km to ring out the kits and try to get feeling back into our fingers.  The rest of the ride was a mix of stinging sleet, pelting rain, crosswinds, headwinds and some sunshine.  Crazy weather mix.  When I was able to see out of my Rudy Projects, the fall colors were amazing.  We even managed a nice photo during one of the few breaks in the rain.  Poor kit selection for me today.  Was soaked to the bone and well chilled.

  8. @frank

    Glad to hear the Lezyne lights are proving a worthy companion. These are their new “Strip” lights. Fix them to the fork leg and seat stay and the reflected light from the spokes makes for much increased side visibility.

  9. Merckx damn it!! My VKit arrived this evening!! Can’t wait to try it out. I feel the mighty power of the V coursing through my veins!!

  10. @nobby

    Merckx damn it!! My VKit arrived this evening!! Can’t wait to try it out. I feel the mighty power of the V coursing through my veins!!

    WHUT??

    Please tell me this was part of the recent pre-order. I thought I had another two weeks to wait, at least.

  11. @PeakInTwoYears

    @nobby

    Merckx damn it!! My VKit arrived this evening!! Can’t wait to try it out. I feel the mighty power of the V coursing through my veins!!

    WHUT??

    Please tell me this was part of the recent pre-order. I thought I had another two weeks to wait, at least.

    Do you check your email? Or our Facebook? We emailed everyone and posted that we’re waaaaaaaay ahead of schedule. You being in the US and far from Europe, I expect you will be waiting another week or two for the postal gnomes to do their work…

    @nobby

    @PeakInTwoYears

    Oh yes my friend. 2 pieces of black and orange awesomeness!!!

    Stoked!

  12. @frank

    Do you check your email? Or our Facebook? We emailed everyone and posted that we’re waaaaaaaay ahead of schedule. You being in the US and far from Europe, I expect you will be waiting another week or two for the postal gnomes to do their work…

    I did read the email, which is why I was surprised that the pre-order stuff is already coming in because the email said I still had 2-3 weeks to wait. If I have to wait another two weeks, that’s only what I was expecting. Besides, I just got a month’s worth of freelance work thrown at me, so I’ll have fairly limited riding time for a while.

    Very excited to get the new kit, though! Especially looking forward to having the gilet for later in the fall/winter.

  13. Im guessing the parcel that royal mail tried to deliver today when I was at work is my V kit then.

    The day after I got the all clear to get back on my bike after my triple hand fracture.

    It’s clearly a sign.

  14. @wilburrox

    The weather was deceptive that day. Hence our under-prepared or ill chosen kits.  Not one of us in the bunch had a rain cape.  Brisk, but dry for the start.  A few light drops of rain.  Then all of hell broke loose – sleet and sideways rain.  An hour later the sun broke through for 15 minutes only to be dismissed by another squall of sleet and pelting rain for the remainder of the ride.  I won’t be so ill prepared this weekend.

  15. @frank

    @scaler911

    Fall is officially here in the PNW, but you wouldn’t know it. It was 25.5 here FFS. Not that any of that should matter to me at all, I haven’t swung a leg over the TT in far too long. Missed you fuckers…… I’m back.

    FFS. I’ve had three rides since coming back from South Africa after starting a new job. Cogal Saturday will get the engine humming again, I’m hoping. It’s always tough getting back into it.

    Wait, I didn’t know this! I just finished my first year at a new job. Besides a true 9-5, finally putting in the finishing work to get my arse out of grad school has seriously fucked up my long road riding. If it weren’t for the fact that I commute 5 days a week and ride on Sundays too, I’d be mailing my V jersey back and getting read to hit mid-life blimping. But fuck it, soon enough I’ll just have a 9-5. And, I also ride right past the cross training park on my way to the office, so I can cx train any morning or evening I want.

  16. Thanks for all the suggestions on knee warmers for wet/cold. Looks like I’ll just be sticking with my wool ones, if someone from the PNW is saying go with those. Good, I can put that money towards the Lezyne lights. Love the idea of a light on the fork, coupled with a light on the bars.

    Fitting fenders to the SS commuter tonight. I see tight clearances and many cuss words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.