a big chill

Despite the ‘widespread misery’ ‘roads chaos’ and plenty of ‘travel nightmares’, I’ve been really enjoying the recent cold weather and heavy snow (heavy snow for this part of the world anyway). My studded snow tyres had only just arrived when it started to snow so I’ve been using them daily ever since. This is despite them being so crappily made that they’re going back; one of them is badly twisted and the other has the wire bead poking through the tyre wall, causing two punctures before I noticed and bent it back. I’m swapping them for something a bit more high-quality.

The highpoint of the week was a late night snowy ride on Monday, over towards Darwen, met up with Simon, did a short but very tiring loop over there then rode back. It must have been at least -8 on the moors, so cold in fact that Simon’s freewheel froze, my bottle of energy drink turned to slush and the water in my Camelbak froze solid. Luckily this was quite late in the ride….

For last night’s training ride I decided to play it safe(r) and ride a shortish local loop repeatedly for 4 hours or so – good for training the mind for 24 hour racing as well as training anything else. As I set off, it started to snow again. Within an hour the snow was really falling and visibility was getting very poor; the trails and cobbled roads disappearing under a thick white blanket. The route crossed two motorway bridges and whilst the traffic seemed to be moving quite normally early on, by 10pm the flow of cars and traffic was reduced to a slow single file procession as the entire carriageway vanished. I noticed that during each lap, I couldn’t see any of my own tyre tracks from the previous lap – this was snow the like of which I’ve not seen for a long time (not around here anyway).

Despite the near-whiteout conditions I did see a couple of young foxes. I fed one a liquorice Mule bar 😉