This morning i cycled to work – it’s always good to cycle on a Monday, you get one in the bank and it starts the week well. if i don’t i always end up trying to catch up with the mileage. i check the weather fairly religiously; i’m afraid of ice. this morning didn’t look that cold, all the talk was of temperatures at or around freezing, nothing too strenuous.
however, when i got out the door (this is the point of no return, i am kitted up, there is no way i am going back and getting changed again), it became clear it was pretty cold in the centre of bristol; which also means it’s colder as you head into the wilds of north somerset and down towards the mendips. my hands were frozen – despite two pairs of gloves, and my fleecy roubaix tights were spectacularly inefficient. after about 15 minutes i was warmer, but i froze on the 4 or 5 minute descent of redhill, i could feel my face tighten as the icicles clasped my beard. it was a bit awesome. i have a small hole in the left knee of my tights, i have almost darned it, but there is still a tiny gap after i came off three weeks ago. i worried that it might be similar to the space shuttle, where molten plasma poured through the damaged wing lining and caused the craft to disintegrate with the loss of all hands. frozen air would creep in through the gap, and i would shatter into a million shards, people would be finding bits of cyclist all over mendips for years to come.
the beard of ice, the faraway look of eye: