Choosing the right kit for a ride is a critical moment: too much and you might cook, too little and you could be shivering away any chance of enjoying yourself. With experience this process now takes me seconds rather than minutes, but always ends with a pause before choosing what might seem the least important accessory of all, the cycling cap.
I never ride without one. When spending long hours in the saddle, we become particularly sensitive to every sensation: a bead of sweat, a loose knee warmer. With every passing minute our awareness increases. A cotton cap on your bonce may seem insignificant but personally, on a comfort level, I put it right up there with the chamois pad and those irreplaceable merino socks and base layer.
Rapha receives regular comments about their model riders not wearing helmets (a debate which I prefer to leave to others), so I feel the need to say that one of the many beautiful aspects of a cap is that it slips under a lid come rain come or shine. I am not proposing the use of either one or the other, but both (it’s your choice).
Here are 12 reasons why every cyclist should wear one:
The Cap is the only roadwear item that really does have its place off the bike too. It can be a beautiful fashion statement or a nod to your heroes and your sport, but it can also be used to suit your mood. The peak-up position is an instant “hello Life, I’m here!”, half-mast suggests a slight moodiness, whereas full-down suggests “gone fishing/ tread gently”.