Foul Weather


Central Otago Rail Trail

The Central Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand. Photo by David Lansing.

Tuesday morning, all damp and cloudy and it looks like rain, which would not be a good thing since we’re cycling to Ophir today, about 50km away. The thing is, there’s no way I can cycle with the gear I have, which is no gear at all. I’m depending on Nev to set me right. “I’ll have a man bring you gear straight off in the morning,” he said. “Don’t worry about it.”

Well, it’s morning and I don’t have any wet weather gear and there’s no way I’m cycling 50km over the Wedderburn pass in just my cycling shirt and a light weight sweater. Foolish I’m not.

Then about an hour past dawn, as we’re gathering in front of the red barn, adjusting seats and saddle bags and whatnot, a silver van pulls up. A sleepy middle-aged man, looking like he’s just rolled out of bed and slipped on a jersey ten minutes ago, pops out of the van and holding a twine-tied package over his head says, “Someone here need foul weather gear?”

Nev has come through with a well-used rain jacket, heavy and warm, wool hat, gloves, waterproof pants. Zipping up, I look ridiculous. Like a fisherman braving the waves off the coast of Alaska. But I won’t be wet today. And that’s good enough.

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