Cycling back last week in the cold, wind and rain I really had to accept that the sun, light evenings and enjoyable commute to work was well and truly over.
This winter seems a little different though? I have started with the poor old boardman roadie out of action due to a catastrophic spoke failure - well the spoke snapped the wheel so new wheel on the way. This has meant I’ve been borrowing the wife’s hybrid?
Now I always knew the riding style on a bike was important to reduce drag and the effect of the wind, I never knew how much until I started riding a chest open wind catcher! Like riding a boat with the sale set to slow you down. Add to that the wheels are wider, the bike is heavier and you have what can only be described as a tough commute.
It did get me thinking about though about the winter commute ahead. Last year we had 6 inches of snow which in itself lends itself to some great fun. Last year after the snow fell I took the train in a way of reducing the mileage on the road. A cop out? Maybe, but still at 20 miles a day it was enough, especially on a 10 year old mountain bike. On my way home I manage to hit a park car at 20 miles and hour, flying over the roof and landing next to the passenger door. All to the shock and horror of the occupants!! Very funny
Having been a fine weather sportsman all my life, growing up in South Africa and playing cricket and golf I now find it strange that whilst the winter cycling experience is a vastly different one than the summer it has its own unique appeal?
- the dark mornings and seemingly less traffic?
- the odd skid and slide that keeps the heart rate nicely above where it should be
- the chance to buy loads of knew kit, all bought in the fantastic winter sales. There were some great ones this year as well!! Good old Wiggle and chain reaction, oh ye don't forget Evans, who by the way are fantastic if you want kit advice!
Winter does though have its draw backs though
- the doubling of washing as the number of layers increases. I would say that what the wife is for but I wouldn't get out the house again if I did?!
- not being able to see pot holes in the road
- the other road users who all seem to be blind to cyclists once the dark arrives
Here's looking forward to my winter, let’s hope the snow stays away. Keep safe, get lights on you bike and make sure those blind car drivers can see you!
Oh ye don't forget to wear some clothes!! :-)