On my first tour, my friend Billye and I were riding one rainy day along an absolutely gorgeous road in Vermont. Despite the clouds, we could still see lovely reds, yellows, and oranges in the tree lines of the distant hills. I was so happy to be exactly where I was, being present, despite the cold, mid-October rain.
At one point, we got mixed in with a group of riders who were obviously on a tour with a touring company. They weren’t carrying much, just a handlebar bag as their things were being shuttled ahead by van. Billye and I were carrying all of our stuff (way too much stuff) on our bikes in the saddlebags we had just finished putting together the night before we left. Despite our heavy load, Billye and I were quite content and happy. The riders on the supported trip looked miserable and ready for a ride in the van.
I kept thinking to myself, those people paid all that money, and the tour operators did not give them one simple tip which would have made the experience so much more pleasant.
That tip is to take the shower cap from the hotel and put it on your helmet to keep the rain out of your helmet, and not dripping down your face, head, and into your jacket. And the next day’s ride wouldn’t start with a helmet which has wet pads.
I collect hotel shower caps for use on my bike, and I keep one stuffed up in the support rails of my saddle so it is always available when I need it. Sometimes I find good deals on them at a dollar store. But it need not be a shower cap. You know those lovely purple bags a certain newspaper delivers in? Collect and use them.
Shower caps can also be used the keep your saddle dry when you leave it out in the rain. Coming back to a wet saddle is a bad way to start the ride home. So stuff two caps under there, one for your helmet, and one for the saddle, and have a more pleasant ride.