If you’re like me, living in bike friendly cities, rain is part of the daily hustle. It’s the drip of sauce that escapes in spite of all your careful eating, through the bottom of the burger right onto your white shirt. It’s the last flutter of electric toothbrush in the morning when you’re still half way through and in the biggest hurry. It’s the fly in your lemonade. It’s simply there and you just deal with it. Biking takes me an average of 30 minutes. That’s usually the range for which I choose the bike instead of the bus, considering I’m not in the biggest hurry, cause here in Amsterdam a bike takes you faster to the city than any public transport. And yes, it rains A LOT. As in very often. Luckily though rains here are short, like bursts, or long and drizzly. And they come with lots of wind. Actually if rain happens often, the wind is permanent. This is one of the reasons why the only somewhat nice hairstyles you see on the street are those reinforced by a tube of heavy duty hairspray or hair gel.
When biking, rain sometimes happens out of the blue in spite of your carefully checked ahead weather forecast. I used to carry with me at all times a butt ugly 2 piece rain suit, which is actually a redundancy since no normal rain suit can be called decent looking unless it costs an arm and a leg. Believe it or not, the most annoying aspect of being on the bike in the pouring rain and blowing wind is not getting myself wet to the bone, but the feeling of rain blown sturdy by the wind directly in my face and eyes. Even when not wearing make-up, the water drips manage to dissolve the shallow drip of moisturizer I’ve applied in the morning, gets some more friends on the way like sand and hair and gets in my eyes. Eyes are the most important biking tool, not the legs, bear that in mind.
To this date nobody thought about designing a rain protection that keeps the rain away from the face (ok I found one, however it’s main purpose is keeping both hands free, not improve vision). And Van Moof is no exception, however handy and clever their Boncho is.
They call Boncho the love child of a pop-up tent and a poncho: it unfolds in a few seconds and has straps and elastics to keep it in position against the wind. It’s supercompact so it can be stored easily in the space available under your bike seat, that space that’s too small to hold anything essential and too large to keep you questioning its functionality. It covers the steering area neatly while remaining in position also in a strong wind, even though some people argue it’s not too handy as you can’t see the gears and bell anymore. You can adjust it over your head and some people say that it’s even way too big, but it stays firm thanks to the adjusting system. I say that’s good, as it can accommodate my pony tail without running away to the back and exposing my forehead. That’s a good feature from the Boncho that most rain ponchos fail to deliver without that annoying squeeze to adjust thread that ends up covering your face and half your left eye when looking sideways. The Boncho still obstructs the sideview when looking back and because of the covered steering front it may get more difficult to take a steeper curve (steering is restricted to a less wider angle), but I believe this is part of getting adjusted to wearing it.
Last but not least, it really doesn’t look as neat as in the ad. You’re still going to look like a dork wearing it, so don’t get too excited (sorry Michiel!), but for me that’s the least of my concerns. I actually favor looking like an idiot as it bears the valuable secondary function of making me anti-rape material
Available in sea green, mat grey and yellow, it really makes sure you don’t pass by unobserved, which is a more than welcome feature in traffic
Get it here
What the Angel from Quirk Heaven thinks: the Boncho is good but not great. I honestly don’t think I’d pay around €70 to get it. What I would really like for it to have is a system that keeps the rain away from my face, some kind of see through mask, like welders wear but then not so bulky. This way visibility is improved, no more blinking nervously to clear your vision, no more panda eyes (yes, mascara and eye liner are finally safe where you applied them!), no more short of breath when the gust of wind gets you