Friday, 3 December 2010
and only yesterday
was the day when i gave up on the other bike, put my snow tyre on the front and the bad boy that is my ice tyre on the back of my race bike and abandoned the dubious joy that is the trainer and off out into the snow.
true i got a few strange looks from the blokes digging out their cars on the streets but i knew that i had better gear for the weather than they had. and so it proved right to the end of the street, down the beginning of the path and the bottom of the hill. and then the problems started. the path itself is just about doable. or it would be if trees hadn't fallen down on it due to the cold and the weight of snow. picturesque but otherwise unhelpful. plus a crust of snow on the inclines that even my ice tyre couldn't cope with. but, i thought, i'm outside, once i get to the top of the hill surely it'll be better.
foolish words, foolish words. more overnight snowfall saw the top track knee deep in powder. madness!
so back down the hill. tricky but doable, then off down the town through the ice and slush. again people look at me like i'm some sort of mirage. or brain damaged lab monkey. on a bike. and i feel like an organ donor. no, really. and if i wasn't sure then the few cars remind that really i am by trying to push me into the snow banks. not nice!
but i do make it to the next hill which, i assume, no car bound idiot will be foolish enough to attempt. i look up and away in the distance two snowboarders are carving beautiful turns into virgin snow. i know there's no possibility i'll be cycling up there but it's still some sort of beautiful as i get my head down, catch some rhythm and get into the hill. oh yes, until at least when i come across the car bound idiot who thought he'd take his dog for a walk. brilliant.
so me and a couple of other guys mull about for a half hour as he fails to free his car. what is it about the overwhelming majority of car drivers that the notion that it's a bad thing to spin your wheels madly just doesn't penetrate? fortunately a tractor comes and i get on my way. the cycling is terrible. the snow has turned into that awful cloying sugary stuff and once i get off road there's an easy two foot of snow before the drifts. but the sun is shining through the pine trees and there's not a soul. i have the bike on my back old school style for long periods and the day gives me just enough of a break that i get a few wobbly metres down the track.
the downhill on the way back is ugly. lots of freezing slush and so, so cold. but brilliant.
and today? overnight was a balmy -18 so what do you think? it's a rest day, feet up in front of the fire. go out there again? no chance!