Saturday, 17 December 2011

All Hail and MTB's

Today was supposed to be the Team Vita Christmas Hill climb challenge, and Road race. That was until the weather had other ideas. Yesterdays snow was an indication of what was to come, and we decided to play it by ear and see what today's weather looked like in the morning. When I got up and looked out of the window, I was happy to see no snow or frost, just a little rain. It also looked like the wind had dropped. My weather app on the phone was saying it would be about 4degrees out, so all that was needed was a good few layers to keep warm. Just as I was getting ready to ride up to Paul's I received a tweet from a Shaun, warning of slippery roads, accompanied by a very christmasy looking picture!!
As I was looking out of the window wondering how two places 3 miles apart could be so different, a winter weather event (which is what we call them at work!) happened. Within seconds the drive and road were covered in hail/sleet! I called Dave and suggested the Hill climb should be postponed, which he agreed, but we decided to still meet at the shop for a brew.
I had recently read an article on winter riding, and the best advice I had read was putting flat non clip pedals on so that you can get your feet on Terra firma quickly in a slip. I couldn't be bothered to swap my pedals so I dusted off the Mountain Bike, pumped up the tyres and called Paul to suggest he did the same.
10 minutes later Paul and I were heading off to the shop, with Claire's words, "you're a pair of nutters" ringing in our ears!
Barry was surprised to see us when we arrived at the shop. The ride had been interesting! Hail being blown into your face at 20mph is a little painful, and big knobbly tyres work well on mud, but not so good on slippery roads!

A rare sight in Vita Cycles!

I wasn't expecting too many people to turn up as we had put the message out that the challenges were off today, and anyone looking out of their window, with any sense would stay indoors. But such is the commitment of the lads one by one, bedraggled cold hardcore cyclists entered the shop. 
We all felt very self righteous, having made the effort to turn up, especially those on their winter road bikes.

As we stood chatting, it was commented that seeing as we were there why not at least go out for a spin. The sky was brightening, and the hail melting, so we headed off into the cold. The average temp of the ride today was 5 degrees, but the actual temperature whilst riding was 2 degrees!!! 

It was bizarre riding with the lads on their road bikes whilst on my Mountain bike. The wet slippery roads were a good leveller!! 
Paul and I stayed with the group for a bit, but peeled off half way round, as I had promised to be back in time for our first Christmas day of the year with Claire s sister and family before they head back to Bali.

It was definitely worth getting out today, and even though the miles were much less that usual, I still felt that I had put some effort in, and kept the legs spinning.

As usual, ride details at the right of the page, or here for Mobile users:

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