Red mottled skin around the thighs; ice-cold to touch, icy ears as the biting-wind whistles past, painfully numb fingers and a red patch where my cycling tights end and my over-boots fail to meet: welcome to the joys of winter cycling in the UK!
At the end of last summer, I wrote a post about the cyclist’s tan: the fetching white thighs, white upper arms and white hands, contrasting with tanned skin that has been exposed on many bike rides; making for an interesting look in a swimsuit! So I found it mildly amusing, after peeling my lycra off, to re-discover that even in the winter, cyclists encounter different patches of skin colour. Although – unlike the cyclist’s tan – the red and white winter combination fortunately only lasts for a few minutes post-cycle! Wearing a new helmet for the first time, I was also rewarded with a V-sign imprinted to my forehead: V for victorious I mused as I clocked it in the mirror, although V for valiant effort, is probably more appropriate!
Today was a milestone for me as I normally prefer to hang up the helmet in the winter months; preferring the warmth of a spin class instead, but acutely aware of losing confidence with cleats, I knew that I needed to get back on the saddle and brave the elements! Frozen-fingers and ears, barking guard dogs and muddy roads aside, breezing past the long, open fields with only cows, horses and tractors for company, today’s winter cycle ride will hopefully spur on a few more!