I set out for my first ride of 2012 in freezing conditions this morning. There were serious amounts of frost on the roofs outside my bedroom window just before I set off. But I had checked the weather and knew that I had about a three hour window where the sun would shine and the temperature would be just above freezing. So I layered up with a full length lycra suit (which I had paraded around the house this week to see if it still fitted, much to the delight of my housemates), a base layer, a t-shirt, a fleece, a high-vis jacket, two pairs of socks and a pair of warm gloves. Thinking that this would be more than sufficient I set off.
Oh my gosh it was a beautiful bike ride from start to finish! Clear blue skies, frost on the trees (until half way through when it all started melting and dripping off) and hardly any cars on the roads for once. It made me really question all of these other blogs where people are raving on about ‘winter spinning’ because they don’t want to go for a ride when its cold and wet. Seriously man up!! Today was a complete stunner! The only conditions I would say that you absolutely mustn’t cycle are a) serious ice on the roads – much more than just a frost and b) really really windy days. Apart from that I really can’t understand this whole ‘when put away your bike for winter’ chat. What is that about?? I was talking with one guy about how his gym runs spinning classes ‘just until the weather thaws in March’…that made me chuckle inside. Some cyclists need to open their eyes, check the weather and just put on a few more layers; I would have been gutted to miss out on a ride like today!
The only real problem was that I didn’t have anything to keep my head warm except my helmet. This meant that around half way through I stopped for a banana and got a ‘brain freeze’ feeling that didn’t go away till I got in the bath at home. Bleurgh, it was horrible, like when you chew on ice cream and it hits a nerve and sends a shiver through your spine. Really really nasty. So gonna head to the local bike shop and get myself one of those disgusting base layer hat type things (what are the even called!?!) so that my vision doesn’t go blurry from the cold next time I’m out.
Apart from that it was a pretty smooth ride. Oh there was one other problem. It completely lacked any kind of hill training at all so I think the OS map is going to have to be consulted for my next weekend ride. But for a mid-week jaunt its the perfect distance/exertion ratio. Happy times. Bring on the next frosty Sunday!