“An old concept given impressively new life.”
— Brian Palmer, Isle of Islay, Scotland

There’s another snowstorm here, roads to plow, sidewalks to shovel and bracing cold. “Weather builds character” is something we say in New England. That’s the power of positive thinking and reconciliation to the fact that we don’t live in Tahiti.

Nevertheless, we take a certain pride in meeting weather’s challenges head-on. At the Cleverhood rain cape company we’re obviously a little fanatical.  Regardless of the conditions, there are dogs to walk and places to see — rain-or-shine. We understand that life is not a “weather-permitting” sort of affair.

We value the feedback we get from Cleverhood’ers all over the world. So far no news from Antarctica, but there are reports from Alaska, Tokyo typhoons, Portland pluviophiles, Stockholm storms and Niagara Falls.

So you can imagine we perked up when we heard from Brian Palmer on the Isle of Islay off the Scottish coast.

That’s not to say we didn’t have some trepidation. Brian is the author of The Washing Machine Post, an eloquent report on serious cycling in the Inner Hebrides with readers from all over the world. The Isle of Islay has a rough landscape and a sublime natural beauty. The Gulf stream ends there, keeping temperatures moderate and winds and rain plentiful.Brian is of the “pelotonic” mindset. We know there are bikes and vigorous bike rides that are made for rain suits. We’d read about the 100 mile (162km) Ride of the Falling Rain around the Isle of Islay. We knew things could get serious there.

As Brian says: “though the weather may have seemed far more aggressive of late, by and large it still blows and pours. If the capes were good enough in my youth, there seemed no real reason why they’d be any less so nowadays.”

His conditions were well stated: “bear in mind that windspeed is entirely relative…Islay’s average windspeed over the year is probably in the mid to upper thirties mph; those are all but unremarkable to residents on the west of Scotland.”

A brand new Electric Houndstooth was poised for action on Islay.

“I carried the extremely waterproof cape with me on my recent ride from the oa to gruinart dairy, a ride carried out in (almost) civilian garb,” Brian wrote.  “I’d barely started when the rain came on and I’d no wish to spend some thirty miles riding in wet trousers.

“[Cleverhood’s] waterproofing was never in question,” Brian wrote. “there’s a certain joy in watching endless droplets of rainwater rolling off its surface as you pedal. The big question was how manageable would it be in strong winds?”

We’re pleased to hear  that Brian appreciated the Velcro Trim Tabs and the front thumb loops.

He wrote: “if you’ll take my word for our average windspeeds, i’d be happy to ride in those without any fears of being blown off. If the wind happens to be at your back, the cleverhood cape could be a distinct boon.”

However,  “If it’s the fast life you’re after, you wouldn’t be living in the Hebrides in the first place,” he notes.

Thanks for the nice report from the Isle of Islay.