It’s raining…it’s pouring. But that’s no reason for you to become a wet mop. A quick trip to the city centre will have you sorted for the monsoon.
For a short bike ride in a slight drizzle, a waterproof jacket or raincoat should suffice. However, you should consider a rain suit (regenpak) for wetter days. The rain suit is exactly what it sounds like, loose pants and jacket worn on top of regular clothes. Relatively inexpensive, you can get a suit for €15 at Hema. Trendier ones are available at local stores (most bike shops have some rainwear too) for €30 upwards or order a matching set online at regenpakhuis.nl. It’s not an uncommon sight to see people reach their destination and start stripping down, so don’t worry about feeling silly.
If suits are too much for you to get on and off, try bicycle ponchos. Designed to go across your bike, the ponchos keep your legs dry in the rain too. You can get a bright yellow one at Blokker for €7.19. If you’re willing to spend a bit for fashion, then Madame De Pe, an Amsterdam-based company, has just the garment for you. Inspired by modern day overcoats and 18th century garments, “these coats address the drawbacks of ponchos. There is a lead lining at the bottom of the coat and the weight ensures that it doesn’t fly or balloon up while biking. There’s tight lining around the hood so it stays in place,” explains Sophie Geelen, of C.Note, the company that designed the line. Prices range from €100 to 150. “The fabric is made to last, so it is like buying proper coat,” says Geelen.
Prices range from €15 upwards, but buy a sturdy one because umbrellas often become collateral damage of the wide. If you want an umbrella that can combat the wind and keep you dry, try the Senz storm umbrella. Designed by three former students of Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft, the umbrella is made for Dutch weather. “It always finds the best position in the wind; doesn’t go inside out and is windproof up to 100 kilometres per hour. Given the number of rainy days in the Netherlands, and the strong wind in the autumn, this is a perfect umbrella!” says Nienke Veenstra, marketing manager, Senz. Prices range from €25 to €60 and you can even buy one of these at the Aula.
If you’re finicky about getting your feet wet, try gumboots (rubberlaarzen/regenlaarzen). Designers such as Vivienne Westwood and brands such as Diesel offer a range of fancy gumboots, but you can also get a pair for around €15 at Van Haren in the city centre. You can get a host of designs at other shoe shops in town for slightly more. Another option to protect your footwear is to buy a raincoat for them. Rain overshoes, slip on covers for shoes which come with grooved soles. If you can’t find them in a local store, order a pair online at hollandbikeshop.nl.
There’s a spray for everything. Your jacket, shoes, and bike. You can get a spray for leather and faux leather products at most clothing stores and shoe shops in Delft. Costing around €7, the spray covers your shoes/jackets with a waterproof covering and protects them from water damage (unless you’re stuck in a deluge). Most shoes need to be re-sprayed every six to eight weeks, depending on use. You can also get a spray for your bike, to coat it and protect it from rusting in the rain.
First published in TU Delta on November 11. Read the Survival Guide series here.