Winter has definitely arrived. Monday was proper icy. Only where the road was muddy or where water had been splashed from roadside puddles, but still real ice. And cold.
I was down in Bristol til Friday, but again it was pretty cold and icy. And foggy. Coming back from the pub on Friday night, the visibility was down to a dozen feet, made worse by the condensation on my glasses.
I had arranged to go mountain biking on Saturday with Karl and co. The plan was for Karl and Alison to pick me up at 8AM and drive up to Grizedale for a 9:45 start. If I’d had my mobile with me when the alarm went off at 7, I would have rung Karl and cancelled.
I’m glad I didn’t. It was glorious. As we drove round Windermere, the clouds and the mountains were reflected in the water. It was picture perfect. We met up with the others a bit late and exchanged the usual pleasantries and insults, before hitting the trail. The day was a nice mix of fire road climbs, fast loose descents and swervy singletrack. I was bitterly cold, not getting above freezing all day, but bright sunshine and no wind. The only real problem was that the short stretch of road we had to do was covered with black ice. Joe took a tumble when his bike just slid out from underneath him. Highlight of the day was Tony loosing his mobile, then finding it again. Lowlight of the day was right at the end. There is a short loop of the North Face Trail we could do before going back to the car. Alison didn’t want to do it, so headed back to the car park, while the rest of us hit the first of several short ice covered boardwalks. Not only were they unrideable, they were also largely unwalkable. At one point we were crabbing along sideways with our heals hooked over the edge in order to avoid sliding down. By the time we’d got past this and onto some rideable tracks, Alison rang to say she was lost. We retraced our steps, she retraced hers and by the time we found each other it was too dark and we had to head back to the cars. All in all it was a brilliant day.