I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy my ride down to the papershop this morning. After last night’s gales, the day dawned – although ‘dawn’ is rather too strong a word for it – grey and wet and miserable. When I suggested that fetching the paper today might be a job for the rubber trousers, the other half intimated that it might actually be a job for the padded white van if I really insisted on going out in it, and the woman at the papershop agreed – ‘you never came on your bike in that did you?’. Even though it had actually stopped raining byt the time I stopped procrastinating and set off, it was still blowing a hooley out there and I had expected it to be one of those duty rides, the kind where you grit your teeth and concentrate on the benefits of cycling rather than its joys.

But here’s the thing. I might have been battling headwinds all the way out but I knew that meant a tailwind home, and so it proved. The minute I turned the corner coming back from the shop I was enveloped in a sudden calm as my speed matched the wind and I was sailing before it. Coming up the hills I could even feel it at my back, pressing me on (I was doing something similar for my four-year-old niece at the weekend). Coming down them, there was nothing in my head but ‘wheeeeee!’ and a vague unspoken hope that no car was lurking round the corner because I was flying and that doesn’t do much for the effectiveness of my brakes. Normally I try and aim for some sort of style over speed on the bike but seeing as I had my bad weather cycling gear on (everything-bar-the-apocalypse jacket, wellies, mismatched gloves to accommodated my bandaged finger) the style battle was long since lost and I just gave the bike its head and clung on as best I could and enjoyed the ride. Thank goodness for our empty roads.

So yeah, cycling in winter. It’s grim you know, but we do it for the good of the planet.


*Headwind Out, Tailwind Home, a sort of cycling equivalent of ‘posh’.



17 Responses to HOTH*

  1. yorksdevil says:

    Here was me thinking Hoth was a planet in Empire Strikes Back.

  2. disgruntled says:

    Where presumably the winds blow in very consistent patterns…

  3. zungg says:

    Wasn’t Hoth also an Egyptian god?

    “Thou sendest forth the north wind at eventide, and breath from thy nostrils to the satisfaction of thy heart” – Egyptian Book of the Dead.

  4. zungg says:

    Correction, turns out the Egyptian deity was called Thoth.

  5. John Gibson says:

    Top notch writting.

  6. KitKatCot says:

    Do you really cycle in Wellies, I have trouble walking in them!

  7. Autolycus says:

    I never seem to get a tailwind, or not that I’ve noticed. Just as an awful lot of roads seem to manage to be uphill in both directions. Or maybe that’s just my bike.

  8. Dom says:

    Hoth is a forzen, desolate planet from the Star Wars series where it gets so cold at night even the local wildlife keels over and dies. So warm compared to Scotland 😀

  9. WOL says:

    What’s nice is no wind at all out, tailwind home, but NWOTH is a lot more tricky to pronounce.

  10. disgruntled says:

    Zungg- ah, tricky to keep those Egyptian deities straight, I find.
    John – thanks
    KitCatCot – I do, and here’s proof. You need short wide farmer wellies, not tall skinny festival-goer ones.
    Autolycus – that’ll be your double-ramped hill.
    Dom – indeed. Or Norfolk
    WOL – I try and moderate my requests to the weather gods, they punish those who are too greedy.

  11. Dom says:

    Norfolk hasn’t been too cold this year. Bit windy at the moment, but we certainly haven’t had the kinds of temperatures you’ve been cycling in.

    Don’t the weather gods just punish you regardless?

  12. Paul says:

    Yes, it was very windy down here in Kent as well. I was doing my usual Saturday morning activities which consist of coaching the local under 7’s and under 16’s football teams. The under 7’s were great, as always, and the wind had made them completely mad, but they didn’t stop laughing and smiling for a minute. Unfortunately, this was followed by the teenagers, who had got up early, and, without the aid of a play station or x-box made it to training without waking up at all. They couldn’t seem to work out that the harder and higher they hit the ball the less predictable it’s trajectory. Mind you the 73 year old chap who retrieves the balls from behind the goal had a hell of a workout.

  13. disgruntled says:

    Dom – probably, I keep hoping there’s some way of appeasing them
    Paul – he’ll probably outlive them all at that rate

  14. […] though it was still (as they say) blowing a hooly, I decided to risk it. I actually quite enjoy cycling through high winds as long as I’m on quiet back roads, and I reasoned that any trees that were thinking of […]

  15. […] out, headwind home; HOTH is the correct configuration for […]

  16. […] been a while since I’ve celebrated the joys of heading out on the bike when it’s blowing a bit of a hooly (as long as the winds are going in the right direction that is). Today was perfect: not raining, […]

  17. […] think I’ve mentioned in the past that the correct configuration for a papershop run is headwind out, tailwind home. I may also have mentioned that the new house is up a fairly serious hill, into the prevailing […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: