They say snowpocylapse is coming. They’ve been saying it for weeks. All I know is, it has finally stopped raining. While the rain has kept things warm, it’s done little for my spirits, or those of my bike riding friends. Hours that could have been spent under bluebird skies with frozen dry trails, have instead been spent under battleship grey clouds and plumes of water from above and below, soaking us to the core.
I really thought I was sick of the rain. Sick of cleaning my bike daily. Sick of the damage it was doing to my drivetrain and brake pads – three weeks is too short a lifespan for a set of disc pads. Then the cold weather came, almost unexpected it descended on me mid-ride. It was going well, the trail to work was relatively dry, the gravel and cables crunchy, but grippy under tyre, the patches of mud solid for a change.
My brain didn’t think about what this might actually mean, a 6:00 a.m. ride leaves my brain wondering about better things, like why the hell it was being asked to function. And so it continued, me blissfully unaware of the impending doom, my brain refusing to think for me. Not before breakfast, not before caffeine, not until you get to work.
An hour into my ride, and I jump off the trail onto the one section tarmac I have to cross. My front wheel momentarily touches the tarmac before dumping me and my bike across the black ice onto the grass verge. Embarrassing, but there is no one around as I pick myself up like bambi on ice and hobble over to pick up my bike. I potter along, my brain suddenly fully awake and aware. I catch another front wheel drift before I go down again – just as I cross the first two lanes of the dual carriageway.
Another 200m before I go onto the side street back to the canal and I’m down again, three falls in less than 300m. I ooze cold viscous blood from my knee onto the tarmac. I shout profanities at the ice. It doesn’t say much back. The next hour of the ride is slow. I’ll just be late for work. I’m done with crashing today.
I hope it rains soon.
Beer of the Week:
Ilkley Pale – Ilkley Brewery ABV 4.2%
SIBA award-winning dry crisp pale ale. Strongly hopped to give a strong, but mellow floral finish. Think classic NZ Sauvignon Blanc, reformed as an uncompromisingly refreshing and refined beer. Brewed seasonally during the year, Pale has a loyal following – one sip and it’s easy to see why!
The best thing to do after a digger is to sit down and drink your knees better. Nice and cool Ilkley Pale can act as a nice tasty surrogate for an ice pack. Or a pain killer.