Brianjeff50 wrote:Next big question: kit. Specifically wet weather gear.
I appreciate there will be bad days but I don’t want to drag arctic survival gear around for ten days to see me through four or five cold wet and windy ones.
At present I have a lightweight rain jacket and, er, that’s it. Various long and short sleeve tops and base layers including a brilliant merino which keeps me warm all winter.
What’s the advice?
Warm and wet is fine if warm and dry isn't possible!
Mudguards to keep the spray off you - you get wetter from below than you do from above and roads stay wet longer than it rains so it can be a nice sunny post-downpour day but you'll still be getting soaked from the wet road. Mudguards solve a lot of those issues.
There are plenty of thin(ish) lightweight waterproof jackets on the market, you won't need a thick softshell or anything. If it's cold, layer up beneath it, if it's warm you can sometimes get away with not even bothering to put the waterproof on, just ride through a light rain shower and dry out.
Depends on how you're affected by rain and cold. Some jackets - for example the Gabba that everyone seems to rave about - are designed to be worn during hard efforts in pouring rain (like racing in Belgium!), it does not work if you're pootling along a cycle path at minimal effort, you need to go for more of a commuter style slightly heavier waterproof so work out what your requirements are. Worth checking the long-range forecast before you go and seeing what sort of jacket you need to take. I did a LEJOG one year and the forecast was so good I only took a lightweight windshell. Ended up only needing that on a cold morning, the rest of the time it was beautiful weather.
Ultimately, you'll only know what you need by riding in the rain and knowing how it affects you. So many people turn up at LE having hit the turbo trainer at the first sign of inclement weather and they have no idea of how to ride in wind, rain or cold, no clue about clothing or bike handling in tricky conditions.