As with most people living in the UK it’s hard sometimes not to pay attention to the weather. So I’d thought I’d give you an update of my efforts to get to work this morning…
Friday is my commute-by-bike day which let’s me get in a nice 26 mile round trip to work off-road. I’d like to say it’s a peaceful time with birds chirping in the trees and dry dusty trails encouraging me to zippy progress. But for the past month or two it’s been a muddy, draggy slog. Perhaps if I lived in a mono-climate somewhere it would be easier but then I wouldn’t appreciate the good weather when it came.
All that aside, today I thought I’d give it a go since the thaw is well set in. Except up on those hills there’s still a lot of snow. As I rode up onto the bridleway at the end of Crabtree Lane (itself a slushy mess) I encountered pretty much impossible riding conditions.
Deep slush meant I had no traction at all. Not uphill, not on the level and weirdly, not even downhill where my singlespeed just spun it’s rear wheel feebly. I wasn’t going anywhere. And when I managed to move it was for just a few yards before the front slid away from me. Impossible.
So, Plan B. I walked and ran with my bike round the big field at Bockett’s and down to the Bockett’s farmhouse. By the time I’d reached the road crossing at Young Street it was 25 minutes since I’d left the house and I’d covered about two and a half miles. Once on Young Street I followed the road.
Even the cyclepath to Dorking was patchy slush in places although generally clear. But with commuter traffic rushing past in the opposite direction it was difficult to see where I was riding and as anyone know riding down to Dorking along the A24 always feels like you’re riding uphill.
After that a fear inducing tramp along the A25 beckoned but in truth it was the only place I could have ridden today. And with just one 32:18 gear it certainly kept the heart rate up for reasons not related to the traffic passing in the semi-gloom of sunrise. All in all by the time I reached work I was knackered but then I don’t tend to hang around when I’m riding solo.
All this makes me wonder how practical it will be to ride on Sunday? Really, the slush is impossible and it will still be there in large part on Sunday. What’s underneath is properly sodden soil and very slippery too as we discovered on Wednesday. So I’m going to be reviewing conditions at the last minute before Sunday!
Now all I’ve got to do is get home tonight!