Edit: My backpack is actually the 'Backbone,' not the 'Ranchero.' Sorry about that.
I've been wearing my peacoat all week, and it's been just fine. Admittedly, if it were longer or looser, it might not be optimal, but now that I'm used to it, I've found it makes a perfectly fine cycling jacket -- though maybe not one you'd want to wear in a race, or on a century. Moreover, it's wool, so it's pretty much rainproof. Warm + rainproof + Louisville winter = boo yah!
Perhaps most importantly, some part of my mind (which is clearly mad, mad, mad, mad, mad) thinks I look really good in a peacoat and skin-tight (stretchy) jeans (yes, farking hipster jeans).
I have, however, determined that I need some kind of mudguards on the bike I ride at work (currently Quicksilver, but soon ... I hope, anyway ... the New Bike). Not because they'd make me more fun to ride with, but because they might help my ankles stay dry when, inevitably, I forget my rain pants. Argh.
I have learned that if I want to ride in the rain with my clipless pedals, plastic-bags-in-socks are required (at least until I locate some more-water-resistant footwear). My bike shoes are old Shimano mountain bike shoes with suede tops and mostly-water-resistant bottoms (the saving grace? ...water can escape through the cleat holes :::sigh:::) -- in theory, not a bad design, if only water didn't have that pesky tendency to splash around so much. The simple answer is socks inside plastic bags inside more socks, which offers the added benefit of keeping my feet even warmer.
I finally gave in and asked Denis to spot me for a Giant Backpack of Doom. The model of choice was the 'Ranchero,' by Chrome -- not because Chrome bags are currently trendy, but because we sell them at the shop, and because I'd borrowed one of the other guys' Ranchero a few times and found that it really is extremely well-designed for use by actual bike messengers, as well as fakengers, college students, and people who want to go on 15-week-long solo survival treks. This morning, I carried roughly 100 pounds of mail in mine. I was convinced Quicksilver was going to plotz.
Anyway, it's time to go to class, so I'm going to cut this rambling and unorganized post ... er ... shorter, anyway, that it might otherwise have been.
More soon, including ... probably ... a formal review of the Chrome Ranchero.