I never used to care much for the weather forecast.
As a lad, I just used to take a look outside and throw on what seemed like the appropriate clothing. Or did as I was told. Sometimes it was judged right, other days not so. But I never really gave much thought to taking any notice of the weather forecast.
As I became increasingly interested in cycling, first mountain biking and then later road riding, I came to realise the importance of the weather forecast. Out of short trousers and into the real world I came to realise that the people of this small, fair island have an obsession with the weather forecast.
Sometimes the forecasters get it right. Often they’re completely off the mark. They get a lot of stick when they do get it wrong, and there’s several infamous examples in the history of broadcasting that prove just how much faith we put into the predictions of the forecast.
I realise today, that the words of the weatherperson are words I take very seriously. As a cyclist, knowing what the weather is going to do is imperative to clothing right for a ride. What’s the temperature going to be when you’re out on the bike? How strong will the wind be? Is there a chance of rain? These are the all-important bits of information that a seasoned cyclist uses to help make the right clothing decision before leaving home for the country roads that are our personal pilgrimage.
The art is to use the information from the forecaster to make the best clothing decisions. It can be hit and miss. Experience at knowing the best combination from the many available variables helps here. Sometimes the forecast won’t turn out to be accurate, but this is out of your control.
But without the weather forecasters working tirelessly on our behalf, where would we be? Overheated or underprepared is where. We’d have to carry more clothing in our pockets, just in case. There would be a lot more risk; some may take the gamble of wearing less, but run the chance of getting caught cold. Others layer up, then sweat profusely and have to stop to remove one or more.
No ride, therefore, can begin without a look at the weather forecast.