Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Frosty the cyclist

When I saw the weather this morning, I just had to get out. Everywhere was all twinkly with the frost and looked so pretty, I just had to be part of it all. So I wrapped myself up nice and warm in my Orca base layer, Discovery Channel jersey & bibs and Altura reflex jersey, and the oh so important Specialized legwarmers (though they do have a hole in the knee from when I fell off!) and Endura overshoes to keep my tootsies nice and toasty, then I was off into the frost.

I decided I'd head East into the foothills of the Pennines - although I only wanted a short ride - and set off towards Daisy Nook where I was treated to the sight of what looked like the dawn of the day, although it was 9:26am, honest!

Everywhere looked great and I felt good, so I carried on despite it being rather cold out. Lots of funny looks were the order of the day as I must've looked like I wasn't wearing much while everyone else was wearing every coat they owned - several people looked they were wearing all their clothes at once! I even had several coppers commenting on my (apparent) lack of clothes; then they started whining cos they were cold in several layers and I was cosy in my 3. I left them to whine to themselves.
At this point I discovered that I hadn't put my pump back on the bike after I washed it last night, so thought better of going to the Pike or the foothills and stuck to Ashton and it's 'burbs. Up through Hurst and by Knott Hill Nature Reserve and I was suddenly part of the way I'd go to the Pike, so I thought I better head back downhill, just in case I punctured - not really the weather to have a long walk to a bike shop or home.

I snuck in a loop round Silver Springs before getting back on road and flying through Ashton's heart and up to Taunton. Usually I'd get in the drops for this section of the ride, when I tried it today I yelped as my wrist really didn't want to play in that position, so opted for hands on the brake hoods, arms resting on the bars - still got as aero as I wanted to, so no worries there.

Down along Newmarket Rd, past Daisy Nook and I decided I'd have another sneaky section - this time on the Littlemoss 'camp' of the Hollinwood branch canal. Lovely and frosty here; only downside was the thundering traffic on the M60. I doubled back on myself here to get back to Daisy Nook and back along the roads to where I took the 'dawn' picture and noticed that the cottages across the road were looking lovely in the light, so snapped them then chatted to a couple of horse riders on lovely chestnut mares before pootling along quite happily til I got to one of my favourite sections of the ride; although it's on the busy main road I like it cos I get to drop down into the bars and sprint the mile to home.

It was doing this that I scared a copper! Lots of the Droylsden Force were out pulling drivers for random checks etc and as I flew past them at God knows what speed, all I heard, "Bloody Hell, that was a cyclist going at that speed!" Heh heh...well, you do have to keep them on their toes!

All in all, it was a fab winter wonderland ride/route, and it's great when you can rattle a PC!
Boring bits -
Temperature: -5 degrees
Average speed: 11.4mph
Max speed: 27.9mph
Miles: 14.39
Climbing: 381ft

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