I Might Not Be A Fair Weather Cyclist Any More
Actually I’m not sure that I ever was, but today it took a new turn.
First up a confession - I DIDN’T ride to work yesterday. I was woken up just before the alarm by sleet and hail battering our bedroom window. This had been forecast to stop in time for my trip in to the office, but it was not to be. When it’s coming down that hard, no waterproofs are really up to the job, and coupled with the northerly gale that was blowing, it would have meant something like a 90 minute cold shower, with an air temperature around freezing. Sod that for a game of soldiers.
But today was forecast to be much better. No snow or rain since yesterday afternoon, and the only complication being the temperature. -4ºC overnight, coupled with a northerly breeze. A definite two-pairs-of-everything day.
The first clue that it might be proper cold though came when I couldn’t get into the bike shed - the lock was frozen solid. Easily fixed with the kettle, but a bit unnerving. Then there was the ice all along the edge of the roads. And the fact that within five minutes my fingertips (winter gloves + ski mittens over the top) and toes (Sealskinz + silk socks over the top, inside shoes) were in pain like I’ve never experienced. I had to cycle faster (while avoiding the ice) to get warmed up. The trouble with that was that the increased speed made my extremities even colder. My thumbs were particularly bad.
It reminded me of Robert Crampton’s column in last week’s Saturday Times magazine (I would link to it, but I can’t without subscribing, and even if I could, you wouldn’t be able to see it, so what’s the point. I bought the paper and now I want to show it to some people I know, some of whom might end up as customers, but if News International can’t be bothered to play the fair use game, then neither can I, since I refuse to pay for something twice. So sod you, Murdoch. ) - there was definitely a Heroes Of The Telemark thing about being out on a bike when it was so utterly bastard cold.
Near the office, I stopped at a shop to pick up some goodies. Before locking the bike, I went through my routine of stripping all the removable, non-lockable items - lights, pump, kitchen sink, cocktail bar, etc. You know the drill - remove anything that you’d like to see again when you next use the bike.
And the strangest thing happened. The tip of my right thumb started to bleed. There seemed to be a crack in the skin, and it was actually bleeding. Real blood. Claret - all over white leather the straps of my saddle bag.
Well there you go - I’ve now been out cycling when it’s so cold that it’ll make your fingers (OK - thumb) bleed. So now will you please accept my resignation from the Fair Weather Cycling Club?
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 12/17/2010
- Time: 16:08:16
- Total Time: 2:00:00.00
- Calories: 1461
- Distance: 29.5 miles
- Average Speed: 14.75 mph