Last night I found out that I’m really rather good at riding on ice without falling off. I mean properly good at it.
It has led me to the following thoughts:
As a perpetual lateral thinker, I actually want to try and convince the UCI to organise and sanction mountain bike ice racing. It could be a new Winter Olympic sport, perhaps?
Back in the real world, perhaps I could at least challenge a skinny race whippet to an icy uphill off road trail challenge? As, for once, I think my added bulk pressing down on the ice gives me an advantage.
Riding on ice is less scary than I thought. I loved it so much that I will no longer wimp out when faced by the prospect of ice ever again. Ok, we need to be sensible, but let’s not overdo the internal H & S thinking, aye…
Riding over frozen puddles, that break midway through, is ace. A very slight second to kicking through piles of leaves. Go on, let the internal child in you out! That’s one of the reasons we like messing about on bikes, after all.
Cycling clothing is so efficient now, that you can ‘survive’ in these conditions as long as you keep moving. I’d experimented before with a stupid amount of multi layering and boiled like a fish in a bag…but, after some experimenting, my trusty Hind jersey with just a Gore Windstopper over the top, meant I was warm enough without getting clammy…but, keep sensible, by having warmer clothes in your back pack in case you take a tumble.
When you come across a favourite descent that seems impossible to descend due to the ice and snow, why not try going up it instead? Not only will it be easier in most cases, but doing favourite routes backwards adds to the variety and keeps local interest up.
What I would change if I could?
Someone should make a hydration pack that allows you to sip a warm drink en route…