Finally, winter is a distant memory and it’s time to concentrate on a summer of sportives and racing.
But, while the winter jacket may have been packed away, the 200km Dragon Ride or a 25mph road race is not the time to get caught out in a heavy downpour.
Yes, it may be summer – but rain can still leave you cold, soaked-through and downtrodden.
A lightweight, packable jacket is the answer. This one, the Nalini Malachite Race Cape, retails at £55.99 through UK distributor Chicken Cycle Kit.
The Malachite Race Cape, according to the marketing blurb, is fit for ‘rainy days, cool starts or long descents’ – and it’s proved a versatile number.
Transparent so to show off any team/club colours beneath, Nalini say the cape is only water resistant, but it kept out a series of sharp downpours during a typically Welsh ride previewing the Llandovery CycleOps Power Road Sportive earlier this month. Prolonged, all-day rain, however, will require a fully waterproof number.
Our trip west left the cape covered in the best Welsh roads can offer and it took two washes at 30 degrees to return the garment, particularly the waistband, which holds more dirt, to its former state.
It’s manufactured using Cordura fabric – the secret to creating such a lightweight, durable cape which comfortably packs down small enough to fit into any jersey pocket.
A quick look at the fabric and it’s a criss-cross of small holes, reinforced behind by the water resistant membrance. That means it’s breathable, too. No boil in a bag here.
An elastic waist gripper holds the cape in place and ensures a close (and accurately sized) fit, meaning it’s not flapping about in the wind like a parachute.
A gripe, however. The zip has, once or twice, got caught on the fabric when pulling the cape on quickly, resulting in a quick stop to carefully pull the two guilty parties apart.
That aside, the Nalini Malachite Race Cape does what it says on the tin. It provides protection from short, sharp British showers and, even if it’s not raining, helps stave off the wind.
Nalini Malachite Race Cape, sizes small to XXXL, £55.99