Oh, okay, not really. I have to admit it was a bit of a wrench to leave the Rayburn and head out on my bike for the paper this morning in minus whatever temperatures but I did have the bright idea of trying the overshoes again and it was a revelation – no more frozen toes, which is a bonus for a chilblain sufferer like me (at least I think that was down to the overshoes – but the only way to know for sure would be to wear one on one foot, and my usual boot on the other foot and even in the interests of the blog I’m not doing that). So now all I need is a pair of overshoes that has been printed so they look like a pair of normal* shoes so I can still have warm toes without going around looking as if I have absent-mindedly put my socks on after my shoes.
The bike was also decently shod – despite stretches of road that were decidedly dodgy, the ice tyres meant it continued to handle most of it with aplomb. On black ice, they’re brilliant – your only worry being that any car behind you isn’t going to be able to stop half as well as you are if the driver hasn’t noticed how slippy it is. On sheet ice the main problem was the glare of the sun bouncing straight into my eyes, although at the steepest part of a climb up a shaded bit of road I did get that uneasy ‘up a down escalator’ feeling as the back tyre began to slip downwards even as I pedalled upwards. The only stretch where I actually had to slow down and concentrate hard was a gnarly stretch of rutted ice on a bend. There are even more magical ice tyres that allow you to climb out of an ice rut but I don’t have those so I just had to pick a rut that was going the way I wanted to go and stay in it – and remember not to try and steer, just let the bike go the way it was going to go. Other than that, I had to stop myself from actually seeking out the icy bits of road to ride on just because I could…
We did hope that the freeze might be be deep enough to make the path up through the woods behind us less of a quagmire but that wasn’t an unqualified success.
There’s really nothing that beats the sensation of breaking through a thin sheet of ice into the ankle-deep mud beneath to make you wish you were safely on a bike instead.
* or indeed abnormal ones – why not a pair of leopardprint kitten heels?