keep calm and carry on

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was riding in thermal tights, 2 pairs of gloves, chunky winter boots and all the other bulk that’s necessary if you want to carry on training in silly weather.

The silly weather arrived all of a sudden, as is usually the case. One day it was chilly, maybe a bit damp in the mornings, the next day BAM the snow was falling and so were the temperatures. It’s currently -10 or something so the turbo trainer has been seeing some serious action. I have also made the effort to get out for rides as usual in the evenings this week as riding in snow is a novelty and as long as it’s not too deep it can be fun…’fun’ in a ‘pedalling is quite a bit harder than usual and you need to be really bloody careful in case you slip on some ice’ kind of way. You know, ‘fun’.

Wednesday’s solo night ride started well, I was confident that my 3.5 hour loop would be all rideable but as I climbed (the first half of the route is all uphill) the snow got deeper and it started to fall from the sky again. Then the wind picked up. Then I couldn’t see anything as I was in the middle of a blizzard.

Then the snow on the ground became VERY DEEP INDEED so I started to walk. The blizzard got worse so I took a cheeky shortcut back to civilisation.

Stopping to brush a ton of snow off my shoulders under the motorway, I decided that the sensible option would be to cut this short, big ring it along the road and get up an hour early in the morning for another session on the turbo.

I met up with Phil for Thursday night’s ride and after a quick half-lap of the Hit the North course we headed towards Birtle, somewhat stupidly to ride pretty much the same route that I’d tried to ride the night before. As it turned out the temperature was even colder but the trails were all just about rideable. We did our usual routine of quick chat whilst riding, then a couple of miles of trying to drop each other, then slow down a bit for another couple of bits of gossip about family, etc then the half-wheeling starts again. Always fun and bloody good training.

The main event this weekend was supposed to have been the Christmas Cracker Sportive in the Lakes. For the second time in 3 years, it’s been postponed due to the weather which is a shame really as last year’s was really good. I can’t say I’m too upset though – road riding in weather like this is pretty suicidal so I guess I’ll stick to my usual big offroad routes, maybe with a bit of daylight for a change.

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