I decided last night that I’d spend a few hours on the Global to get a longish night ride in and also to check that nothing needs fettling before I take it to Scotland. It was bitterly cold but for some reason I didn’t think there would be any snow and ice on my chosen route – in actual fact the thought of ice never even crossed my mind.
I rode over towards Rochdale, through the scary estate at the bottom of the moor and up Rooley Moor Road. The plan was to link up with the Coal Road and then drop down off the hill towards Edenfield. Halfway to the summit of RMR it started to get icy, large sheets of white ice and snow packed hard by Landrovers. As I climbed, the snow was getting deeper and was getting just deep enough to fill the large gaps between the packhorse slabs, creating traps for the front wheel. Finding a line through the patches of ice to maintain some degree of traction was getting more difficult with every extra metre of altitude, until the point where the packhorse trail disappeared altogether.
More and more frequently I had to dismount and push, sometimes the snow was up to my knees. I pressed on and I have to admit, I was starting to think that perhaps this wasn’t a great idea. I should have got the road bike out and stayed lower down. More ice. Deeper snow. This is getting worse. “People ride in worse conditions than this all the time” I was repeating this in my head as I almost fell off again. I got a nosebleed too, which was strange as I’d never had one before. I assumed it must have something to do with the cold and dry wind and pressed on as quickly as I could – sometimes running/walking, sometimes just trying to ride and stay on the bike.
That 6 mile section took well over an hour. It normally takes half that. I called Deb to let her know I was still alive and having fun, then started to descend the United Utilities road to Edenfield, once I was there I would just need to negotiate Gin Croft Lane, no doubt covered in ice, then back to the road. The UU road off the moor though was also thick with ice and snow (and sheep) – it’s steep too so it was a nervous few minutes as I descended pretty much dragging the rear brake all the way down like a complete novice.
I’m earning a good summer for us all. That’s what I’m doing.