Got out on the bike this morning to be greeted by some very unforgiving and icy roads. Very picturesque, ‘Christmassy’ but not conducive to the accumulation of lots of miles! Also, Boo, my illustrious stoker opted for a snuggle with Mummy on the sofa, rather than braving the elements on the tandem. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to test out her new glove liners which she received in her Xmas stocking, she remained unconvinced.
I decided, given the temperatures, that a route which stuck to main roads, most of which had been gritted, was better than my previously planned route. Considering that it was a Sunday and in the Christmas break, there really were surprisingly few fellow cyclists out this morning; clearly others had been put off by the temperatures. Speed seemed a hard thing to come by today, with cold legs and the constant need to take it easy on corners due to the plentiful supply of frozen kerbside puddles, I averaged only about 13.5mph, a couple of miles per hour down on my averages this week.
I received a mid-ride reminder of the need for caution on corners when taking a right turn on a country lane near Berkswell. A patch of road still in shadow from the roadside hedge concealed a frozen puddle which woke me up with a back wheel slide mid manoeuvre, which I managed to catch but then nearly executed a motorbike style ‘high side’ crash as some grip returned to the sliding wheel. My attention was suddenly refocused to the road conditions and my increasingly cold extremities. This was certainly the coldest ride of the festive period so far.
Despite the awareness that my mileage was not on track to meet the targets for my Festive 500 challenge, the latter half of the ride was motivated by the desire to return home for a hot chocolate and a bacon butty. So all I managed was a paltry 25 miles (40km) to add to the tally, which has taken me to just about halfway to my goal with only two days to go.
So it looks like a few miles later today may be required if I’m to remain in with a chance, but I think my odds are lengthening at present. Still I can console myself with the thought that I have good few miles in my legs as a base for the efforts ahead in 2014 and that has to be positive!