Temperature was cold. Very cold. We got snow for the first 80km. Then some clearer sky. Then rain for the last 50km
Some lessons learnt:
Mud guards are necessary.
Nicer for other riders. But also prevents my back being full of mud. I was keeping some of my food (gels) in the back pocket of my rain jacket and I wanted to get them. But it was impossible without stopping. When you’re hungry and progressing slower than you should, you make bad decisions. You want to continue progressing instead of stopping and eating. If I had no problem taking the food from the pocket, I would have been a happier man.
Avoid big gloves 🧤
They are nice and comfortable, but very inconvenient to do anything on the road. I was already struggling to open the zipper of the back pocket because of the mud accumulated. Doing it with big gloves made it even harder.
That said I purchased some Sealskinz gloves from Varuste and I was very happy with them.
I still don’t have a better option. After 7 hours of riding and being a bit hungry and probably not paying enough attention to my posture, my hands started to be a bit cold. So I would take the same gloves again…
Don’t put any food in the saddle bag
Worst place if you want to be able to reach it. You have to stop. Also my saddle bag is an Ortlieb which is not really easy to open, especially full of mud. I really like it though because it’s just the right size. I pack my tools in it and it can expend so I can put my rain jacket or other stuff if it gets warmer. That didn’t happen yesterday…