Well, somebody has to do it

CIMG7943Some things simply have to be done. Somebody has to fly the flag, show themselves willing, face up to the discomfort……if not, the fulcrum on which the balance of life rests would teeter too much to one side.

While most of the UK population snuggled inside its centrally-heated cocoon (be it home, office, classroom or wherever), a few felt the obligatory urge to set foot outdoors and brave the sub-zero elements. A weak wintry sun beckoned. The thoughts of the laborious process of pulling on the layers of insulation almost dissuaded me from my intention. But, finally, trussed up like the seasonal turkey ready for theCIMG7948 deep freeze, I headed out into what was registering as -5C. Not along the ‘roads less travelled’ this time, but most definitely along the roads well travelled, to be assured of a firm grip underneath the tyres.

The countryside was like the magical scenes from Narnia. The sun was so weak that it couldn’t do much to shift the frost from the trees and the hedgerows, but its light brightened up the surrounds. The intense cold spiked the bare exposed flesh of my cheeks, caught the tips of my toes and fingers, but was invigorating. But what a day to get in a quick 25………

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About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on December 12, 2012, in Cycling UK and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Ah….fellow cold weather outdoor enthusiasts…alas…my wheels are away and my boards are out. It is cross country ski season here. Hourray.

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  2. Super effort, Frank. Watch out for black ice.

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  3. Our Adventure in Croatia

    I fall in the category of “most of the UK population snuggled inside its centrally-heated cocoon” ….. very brave you and great pics!

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  4. Yep, I know all about black ice……it caught me out nearly 4 years ago, and laid me up for 6 months.

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  5. ….but nothing to be ashamed of. That’s where the sensible people were………….

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  6. …and if I were a skier (which I’m not), that’s the sort of skiing that would appeal to me. A to B routing, with a beginning and an end.

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  7. Gorgeous photos. I love the frosty trees.

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  8. Dem r some big mud guards on your ice worthy steed, my man! We normally do not have the super saturated atmospheric conditions to result in the ice tree effect but do occasionally. Nice pictures.

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  9. Those trees are gorgeous, but that looks so cold!!!!

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  10. That would certainly be invigorating. I love the beautiful photos.

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  11. No such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment! That’s what I always say AFTER I brave the cold weather for a ride. LOL The first 3 miles is always the hardest.
    -L.C.M.

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  12. Yes, Joe, that is the ‘steed’ I use for long-distance touring with luggage. It’s a trusty 20 year old Raleigh (British make) that is fit for all terrains (including rough off-road) and all weathers.

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  13. You are right, very cold. Down to -5C…….but someone once said ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing’! I agree entirely.

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  14. Ha, I have just said something similar in my reply to Rebecca! And you’re right……the first 20 mins are the coldest, but so are the first 20 mins after a tea break…..sometimes even harder, when you’ve just got used to the snug conditions of a café. Ever so hard to pull yourself away.

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  15. Never stop when its super-cold. The sweat turns to icy chills, impossible to get warm again. Save the stop for a hot bath after-ride. 😉

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  16. My road bike is vintage 1992 and it still is going well (with replacement wheel set). My touring rig is 2006. Plastic mud guards (fenders here) which don’t photograph as brilliantly as yours! (Wonder why they are not labeled “rain guards”?) Is this the velo going down under with you?

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  17. Thanks for the compliment. I was asked, by some cycling friends today, ‘who takes my photos?’………mischievously I told them I employ my own private ‘papparazzo’……….. The truth is that the 10 second time delay on the camera, coupled with handy roadside ‘furniture’, do the job just nicely.

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  18. Ha!……at -5C, the thoughts of drumming up a sweat are a distant dream, that will come with the spring (maybe). Now condensation is quite another matter…………..

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  19. ….unless something changes, that is the velo(cipede) that is going with me to the Antipodes.Because it continues to ‘fit like a glove’ over long distances and dodgy terrain, I haven’t yet been tempted by a ‘younger, more glamorous model’……..;0)

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  20. Brrrrr! Being an (almost) native Floridian, I disagree! I like my warm weather! 🙂

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  21. Going for a ride now…too much talk about cold weather riding has given me the itch for some explorative pedal-strokes!
    Cheers.

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  22. …that’s a ‘cyclogically’ good decision to make. May the wind be ever at your back!

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