A cold snap is on its way. As ever, the newspapers and radio are being sensational about it (even though it happens every year and is rarely much more than a week or two of cold weather and a bit of snow). However, in preparation for a period of not cycling I decided to take advantage of a free afternoon and went out for a ride. The temperature was just below zero but once I got moving the added wind-chill factor made it feel much colder. My face was stinging and my fingers froze beneath my thick gloves.
I headed for a long climb hoping that it would warm me up. It seemed to be doing the trick, but the higher I climbed the icier the roads became – to the point where it became impossible to get enough traction on my skinny road tyres. I decided to turn around. Not that I had any other option really.
The descent was miserable and chilled me to the bones. I was going almost as slowly as I’d climbed through fear of hitting ice, and then I got a puncture. My second in a week.
Again I spent time checking the inside of the tyre for anything that might have penetrated it but found nothing. So I put in a new tube and pumped it up. By this point my hands had gone purple and my teeth were chattering. I decided that I’d taken enough punishment and headed home to sit in front of a nice warm fire. I’d been out for an hour but had only covered about 7 miles. I probably would have been quicker if I’d just gone for a run.
Tomorrow I will be ordering a new tyre, and will probably contemplate the turbo trainer before going for a run instead.