Going out to play on my mountainbike in the snow was a blast.
I’d nipped out on Sunday but there wasn’t enough snow – an inch or two makes it muddy, filthy slushy riding. But yesterday we’d had another two inches in the night so there was an enticingly fresh white blanket.
It’s togging up that takes the time – double tights, shorts, silk vest, polo neck jumper, jacket…waterproof socks (excellent) trainers, full winter gloves. Left the ears out because I wasn’t going to be ripping it and the temps were above freezing.
The wide knobblies on my lovely old Orange P7 instill confidence (recovered confidence after the Evil Acorns incident, which shall be virtually mentionless) and frankly could tackle anything. They felt sure through mud, slush, icy patches and snow – even on a slippery hill.
Everything looks sooo pretty with fresh snow. The fine twigs on the blackthorn that edge the wood were so beautifully decorated, they looked like nature’s own brilliant white filigree lace.
It wasn’t so great cycling on the dual carriageway and getting sleety road salt kicked up into my face so i was glad to be on pure snow again – and riding tracks i know where there are no unwelcome surprises like concealed floods or potholes..
One cyclist on thinner tyres had been through on section… but otherwise, i had it all to myself. No tyre tracks…just a few footprints of walkers with their faithful friends plodding alongside.
I wasn’t truly alone though. I stopped in the water meadows to take a pic of a handsome Gloucestershire bullock – Gloucestershire cattle cows give the milk that’s used in Single and Double Gloucester cheese… yum. But he was feeling sociable and walked right up to investigate me and the bike properly. Then he discovered the road salt around and under my saddle and it made his morning. He cleaned up the saddle area pretty efficiently and I pressed on with my circuit.
Usually, I’ve got the Mp3′s plugged into one ear – the nearside ear in case anyone has safety worries – but yesterday was a day for soaking up the entire snowy vibe listening to the sssshhhhhh of the slush and the muted soft crackling of the deeper snow beneath the tyres – and the birdsong! In spite of snow lying heavy on the branches, in their tiny fast-beating hearts, the birds know that spring is just around the corner and they are getting set to celebrate.
I got back home with frozen, appallingly muddy assets – note to get crud catcher for back wheel – and the snowiest bike ever. With all the road salt and slush of the return journey, it would have been a feast for my friendly snow bullock.
While the ride was a blast, I have to say there’s nothing like a ride like that to make you *truly* appreciate the total delight of a long, hot shower.