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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Cycling Super Powers

I wish I had em!

Or one in particular.

As I prepared to ride to work this morning I did the usual "stick my head out the kitchen door to check the weather" test and established that a) It was a bit chilly and b) it was dry. I therefore got dressed to suit the conditions- lycra shorts, long sleeve base layer, knee warmers, Karrimor bike trousers, Altura Airstream windproof jacket, buff, Sealskinz windproof skull cap, Altura waterproof gloves, Selev Alien lid (nothing additional on my tootsies apart from the usual socks and Shimano shoes).

I commenced my ride just before the sun started to lighten the eastern sky and for the first 5 minutes I remained chilled but not too bad. I then launched myself into the ascent of Quarry Wood Road and my central heating kicked in. I was lovely and warm.

For this initial part of the ride, the roads were fine, just a bit damp. As I turned off Quarry Wood Road towards Winter Hill however, I detected the crisp, crunchy sound of frost crackling under wheel. This instantly instilled a case of the Heebie Jeebies.

Now, as you know, I have written about The Fear but, The Fear and the Heebie Jeebies are distinctly different cycling maladies. The fear is the gut feeling of "We're all dooooooooooooooomed!" whereas the Heebie Jeebies are that sudden onset anatomy clenching feeling that it is about to go horribly wrong.

This is where I wish I had a Super Power- in my case levitation. All I wanted to do was close my eyes and think myself 6 inches off the road and floating my way to a nice, safe, frost free road. Just like Dynamo- magician impossible levitated himself in front of the statue of Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.

As I couldn't levitate however, I just had to progress at snails pace ensuring any slowing of the snails pace was done with back brake only. I tried to follow wheel tracks from cars that had driven through the frost but, in places I was the first vehicle of any kind to go that way since late last night.

I got to work in one piece but it took me 5 minutes longer and my maximum speed was only 17.7 mph!

Super Powers, we all need em.