I am just so over snow. Sorry if I am spoiled by comparison to some readers who are in Canada or eastern or northern Europe. But just at the beginning of the week there was a moment when I thought spring might be coming.
After a week without much ice and snow on the ground I was treating myself to a 3 hour road ride this morning. At last a chance to ride skinny tyres and a lightweight frame.
So I woke up to this. This was forecast as light flurries.
My wife is beginning to ask questions too. “I thought you promised me the weather here was just like the UK?” My response that it is snowing across the whole of northern Europe is beginning to come across as a bit lame. But Belgian colleagues are promising me this is a cold one this year.
My only chance is was to go back to the mountain bike. If the best bike riders in the world could not start the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne semi-classic today I am certainly not safe on these roads.
I mean I love mountain biking and there is a fantastic network of tracks round here. But time is up.
Beginning to explore our part of Belgium we wondered up to the Solvay Park near La Hulpe yesterday. A beautiful spot with the landscaped grounds surrounded by woodland. However what really struck us was when snow started to fall from … Continue reading →
Ever since the entry of mountain bikes into mainstream cycling they have offered a new dimension to winter riding – snow riding!
When the roads are downright dangerous the chance to escape across the fields or ride on untreated minor roads with extra grip and wide handlebars is great fun.
Where I am now living in Belgium we have a fantastic network of paths, farm tracks, cobbled roads and minor lanes so I couldn’t resist getting out today for what seemed like my first longer ride in ages. The snow actually flattens out the cobbles to some extent which is great.
And a real treat today. There is nothing like a sign at the edge of a field that just points out to the middle that beckons and says “ride me”. And in this case it was on pristine snow with only the footprints of rabbits and foxes. The snow was really soft which made it hard going but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I haven’t updated my “Music to ride bikes by” blog page in ages, I think my head has been too full of other stuff for songs to sneak in and take over.
Within minutes of starting to pick my way through the fresh fallen snow even my intense concentration was taken over by Paul Simon’s “Slip sliding away”.
There is little doubt that it was prompted by my two wheeled behaviour. The Belgian schoolboys trudging alongside the road were highly entertained by the chap doing a 180 degree spin in front of them and wobbling off down the hill sliping from side to side.
No real risk, a friend has given me an almost car free back route to the station. But I am a victim of my own complacency. I am a huge fan of the puncture proof Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres, over 10 years since I first reviewed them for the CTC magazine and still puncture free. But this does mean I put them on the bike and completely ignore them until the carcass completely falls apart. This is exposed at some point each year when the bike becomes mysteriously unstable on mud, snow or ice and I finally look down to discover the rear is completely bald.
Today appears to have been that day, thus Paul Simon is now in my head for the rest of the day.