All is ready. A handful of mince pies snaffled from the “do not touch before December 25th” box, tyres kicked, brakes prodded and chain given a sacrificial coating of lube. The promise of a short ride interspersed with longer periods of drinking home made Sloe Gin – with the specific gravity of aviation fuel – and munching assorted bakery products is most appealing.
If I can get there. Before it started dumping snow 30 minutes ago, the only way our – resolutely ungritted – rural road is passable is for the brave, the stupid or the incredibly smug 4×4 owners. Sheet ice with snow on top out there, and there have been many things that had gone bump in the night, in the day, and in the ditch. I’m determined not to add to the tally.
Being brought up in a county that, before proper global warming, was essentially undersnow for three months of the year, you could safely assume my driving and riding skills are properly attuned to such conditions. Not true, I’m useless, vacillating between extreme caution and terrifying bravado whoole holding on with the sweaty palms of a man whose seen his immediate future and it’s upside down.
Since I took that photo, the snow continues to fall, the kids continue to scream in delight, and the dog continues to practice his snowball catching skills.
And soon I’ll be ascending the lower slopes of the Malvern Alps on first untreated roads and then unseeable trails.
Still, it’ll be a laugh. Probably.
EDIT: That’ll teach me to big myself up then. The cancellations came flooding in by text message until only two men were left standing. But not riding. Dickus Motorus had turned the 15 minute journey to ride’s start into 45 minutes of terminal stupidity, and even if we conquered that obstacle, both of us had some doubts about surviving a clagged in, snow-over-ice ride in pretty horrid conditions.
I was still up for it amazingly but the right call was made. But I couldn’t help thinking, as I was making fresh tracks with the mutt at 8pm, how bloody awesome it would have been.
Anyway Tim B is still young enough to retain his adventurous gene so we’re off out at lunchtime. Better go pack those mince pies again 🙂