Ice ain’t nice

My big plans for a full weekend of cycling were cruelly scuppered by the cold winter conditions. We had headed up to Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds for a quiet weekend. My wife and her sister had a variety of Christmas preparations to carry out which gave me a free licence to cycle. Despite the ‘severe weather warnings’ on the radio I still ventured out of the house with “unsubstantiated optimism” – apparently a personal character trait! My high spirits were quickly dashed as my first steps on the road almost resulted in me going arse-over-tit. For those unfamiliar with the strange place names in the Cotswolds, Arse-over-Tit is not a pretty little village between Moreton-in-Marsh and Bourton-on-the-Water. It is in fact a place where nobody dressed in lycra ever wants to go!

This is a view down the street late morning. The ice wasn’t melting…

After moping around the house for a few hours and generally upsetting my wife and her sister with my grumpiness, I decided to go for a hike. With an OS map in hand I hiked for about 2 & 1/2 hours from Stow down to Broadwell and then up to Oddington. The highlights of the hike were being chased by a friendly teenage cow across a field and finding a kids climbing frame to do a few chin-ups and try and exercise-away my grumpiness.

I have been doing a fair bit of cross-training over the last 2 weeks to combat the lack of road cycling. Running with my heart rate monitor, cycling on a stationary bike with a power meter and a bit of hiking are my favourite alternatives to cycling. And carrying home a Christmas tree at the weekend was the sort of real-life cross training I enjoy, despite some people drawing comparisons between my non-cycling, grumpy state and another Christmas character …

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