One of the many loose ends left to tie up, along with getting a couple of bottle cages, a bottle, a storage bottle, a mini pump, a spoke tool, tire boots and a few other items I cannot remember just this instant, was to buy a lightweight rain jacket and rain booties to stay dry and warm during the ride. The problem was, nothing I found was small enough, cheap enough, or small and cheap enough. It reminds me of a phrase I once heard to keep in mind when buying a bike; “light, strong, cheap – pick two.” Well, that logic just didn’t cut it for me, so instead I cut a jacket for me, out of a garbage bag. Before you laugh out loud, let me invite you into my chamber of madness – my head.
This is my ideal rain jacket: 1. Nearly disposable (cause I hate rain jackets and I lost my last one on my last ride. By accident.) 2. Super Light (less than 100g) 3. Super compact (As small as a wallet so I can store it under my riding shorts on my thigh) 4. Cheap (less than $20) 5. Easily repairable 6. Easily Replaceable (so if I do lose it, by accident, I don’t have to fork over a bunch of time and money to buy another somewhere in Italy or France. 7. Windproof
Now you start thinking….hmmm Garbage bag sounds pretty good. Notice that nowhere in there did I say “Stylish” because plastic high-tec rain jackets just aren’t stylish, because plastic clothing is not nice. I also didn’t say “Breathable” because no EPTFE membrane, whether it’s Gore XCR or another, breathes enough for cycling if it fits tightly, and then it becomes a sweaty $300 garbage bag anyway.
So I made this one. It satisfies all the criteria I want in a rain jacket, as it is totally waterproof, will keep me warm when partnered with a wool sweater because it’s windproof, it weighs 25g, can be remade, repaired and recycled and it only cost 75 cents. It also just happens to be the same bright Euskatel Euskadi orange for high visibility in low-vis conditions and it is made to a custom fit. I also made matching booties. I tried them out on Saturday in the rain and even wore them in the sun to see how sweaty they would get and it was hardly damp at all. They worked so well, I am already making a more sophisticated pattern and may bring two jackets and three booties (all totaling less than 100g). I will post plans of how you can make you own 1 dollar waterproof faux Euskatel Euskadi team kit on here shortly.