You love it or you hate it… Personally I love it. And a good job too. I can barely remember ‘not snow’ at the moment. The ridiculously low temperatures have resulted in lovely, grippy, freeze dried ground and, living in a semi rural area connected by a network of tracks between other towns / villages, even the huge dumps of snow did not result in ‘unrideable’. Here are a couple of favourite snaps from recent commutes:
I’ve also had some good away days. Keswick was ridiculously cold, but being the weekend before Christmas, remarkably quiet which is just the way I like it. I set off on a five hour ride at 7am. It was around minus ten. Had to keep stopping every few minutes to get some feeling back into my fingers. Ouch! And then after missing my, ’sip every 2 minutes’ regime, my hydration pack froze up…. which meant trying be dextrous…. which meant loosing feeling in the digits once again. The only solution was to stuff my two litre bladder up my jacket to get it to thaw. Cold liquid sloshing around on belly whilst doing interval efforts anyone? No, it wasn’t nice and resulted in one of those, ‘Why the hell am I doing this?’ moments. Which was quickly countered by views like these:
(You may notice a rather lovely carbon space ship in one of the pics… more on that soon).
Anyways, this festive season I’ve also had the pleasure of riding with Andrew Cockburn whose family live in Morpeth. He’s a very (very) strong all round mountain biker; the type I would like to ride with more often. Not only is he a top class rider, but he is also very modest of his abilities, which I appreciate.
This morning I rode with my good friend Glen, out from his back door (literally!) just south of the Tyne around the Beamish area. It was one of the best rides I have had in ages and I am definitely heading back that way soon; it’s literally half an hour away on the A1 and is an absolute rabbit warren of top class woodland shennanigans made even more fun by soft melting snow and ice.
Bikes and snow; so wrong yet so right.