Monday, 9 November 2009

Winter wonderland

I woke up to a bright crisp, chilly morning and I just had to get out and ride. I opted for a real easy route (one I use all the time) and loved it.

After clambering into my winter gear - Giordana winter tights, compression base layer, MCC jersey, Gore arm warmers, Endura overshoes and my cheats winter gloves (normal gloves with mitts over the top) - I threw my Discovery Channel windproof jacket on and hauled ass downstairs and into the pure air of a stunning winter morning.

Due to the roadworks that have now bred all over the place on my road (main Manchester to Ashton route) and will remain there for the next 3yrs or until they actually finish, whenever that may be; and given how I've already gone through 2 pairs of tyres this year because of the roadworks; I decided to try and avoid all of the diversions and contraflows so spent a fair while doubling back on myself via back streets to get through to Fairfield and then onto my usual route to Park Bridge. After coming out at Bardsley I took the road route to the John Hayworth Centre for a bacon butty (I know, I'm undoing all the good work I've just put in), a steaming mug of tea and a chat with Lesley and the countryside centre warden.
Once I'd winterproofed myself again I set off on the muddy but fun way back to Bardsley and along the roads through Ashton and along to the Snipe. Here I had a heart stopping nearly squished moment.

The road is 3 laned at this point leading up to the one way system: left hand lane is for straight on or left turn only, middle is for following the one way system to the right and then to the left, while the right hand lane is for following the one way system all the way to the right (right, then right again). Coming up to the Snipe I was ahead of a HGV who was being real good and staying far behind me and letting me rule the road. Coming up to the 2nd set of lights, I moved into the middle lane as that will take me home, but I sit to the left of this lane to allow traffic to still pass me on the right. The HGV was still real good and was slowly trundling in the left hand lane by now and was slowly passing me taking as much care as he could. I checked behind me, saw there was nothing there nor in the right hand lane, so I pulled over a little more to give the HGV more room to pass. HOONNNNNNNNNKKKKKKK!!!!! From nowhere a black cab had jumped on my ass, honked and scared the shit out of me so much that I nearly jumped into the side of the HGV. I purposely slowed down so that the cabbie was on my side, pointed to myself, then the HGV, then slid my finger across my throat, all while yelling at the tosser that he very nearly murdered me by being a tosspot. As in the life of the Spraggster, the cabbie just looked at me blankly shrugged his shoulders and then proceeded to undertake me and go into the left hand lane before putting his foot down. He was obviously way too lazy to just simply wait behind the HGV passing a vulnerable cyclist with extreme care.

The rest of the way home was filled with trepidation each time a vehicle got too close behind me (on slick roads too) half expecting to be splattered and scraped up into a jam jar.

Ah well, there's always another day to ride :oD

Stats -
Temp: 3C with real feel of 0C, wind 7mph wsw.
Miles: 15.73
Average speed: 13.6mph
Climbed: 470ft


  1. I hate tosspot drivers. Although we had a very different experience with a driver recently. My hubby and a mate were at the traffic lights and they kept telling me and a friend to get up to the front with them, and they must have sounded like bullies, because a driver started yelling at them, and it wasnt because they were in the way or anything, the driver was calling my husband arrogant, it was hilarious once we realised that it wasnt our actual bike skills causing the problem. For the recird, hubby is not arrogant

  2. That certainly would have been a strange experience to be involved in. I tend to yell ay other cyclists to try to get at the front at lights as it's often safer to be there. Never had the same experience as you have though!

    Drivers, eh?! More hassle than they're worth at times.