The frozen joys of winter cycling

Pure water!

Pure water!

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!

2 thoughts on “The frozen joys of winter cycling

  1. Sounds like winter riding in the UK is not unlike winter riding here in Victoria, BC (although today is sunny and 11ºC, so it’s not ALWAYS as you’ve described). It’s a whole lot better than winters on the Canadian prairies (where I lived till 3 years ago), where I’d spend six months of the year pedalling on a treadmill in the basement. Mind-numbing boredom! I’ll take numb fingers and toes over a numb brain any day…

  2. Yep can see how numb fingers and toes are preferable to a treadmill in a basement! You should blog about it 😉 Funnily enough it was also not too cold here today – about 9 degrees c, but sadly too windy to venture out! Do you find yourself clenching and unclenching your fingers trying to keep them mobile during your ride? Last time I even resorted to trying to shield them from the wind chill by placing them behind the brakes – yes seriously! And as you can imagine, it had no effect!

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