This time of year it can be difficult to motivate yourself to get out and ride, particularly when there is 2″ of ice on the roads or 2ft of snow on the trails, lets be honest none of us wants to slip and break something which will keep us of the bike for a few months. When planning routes you have to consider the elements, try and build in bail points which allow you to cut the ride short should the weather turn, or the going gets tough, the last thing you need is to be stuck miles from anywhere in freezing temperatures and absolutely exhausted. Your body is working harder than normal to keep you warm and although you may rattle off a particular ride in few hours in the summer, its a different matter when the wind is howling and the ground is soft.
However don’t let this put you off, bad weather is never an excuses not to get out and ride, it just takes a little more thought. Take extra food,water and clothing just in-case you have a delay, make sure you know the route well, winter isn’t really a great time to be trying that new 40 mile epic. If you are riding alone make sure somebody at home knows the route you are doing and give them an expected time you will return, with a little extra thought a ride out into the grimmest of weather sometimes can turn into your best day on a bike.
This months forum ride was one of those days, the route was a 3 hour blast up to the masts above Llandegla over to the Worlds End road and return over the boards to do a lap of the black and return to the Plough Pub for a pint. However mother nature had other ideas and decided to throw 2 ft of snow into the equation and a howling wind to slow our progress. 15 of us battled our way up to the masts only to find the sheep track had disappeared under 2 -3 ft drifts and was completely unrideable. We therefore beat a hasty retreat back to Llandegla forest and some shelter out of the wind.
The admin team made numerous amendments to the route due to the conditions and after completing the downhill sections of the black, the decision was made to turn on to the Offa’s path and head back to the warmth of the pub, for a well earned pint. Although the route was a little over 10 miles, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and had a smile on their faces, some of which was recalling the over the bar moments most of us had in the deep snow. No one set Strava on fire, there were no injuries, there was a pint at the end and it was better than riding the couch looking out the window. To read the full account of the ride head over to the forum, but here are a few pics to give you an idea.
February’s forum ride will be a take on the classic Elin’s Revenge route, there will be a few variations along the way to keep things fresh, so if you fancy joining us head over to the forum to find out more details. So remember just because the weather is grim, with a bit a planning it could turn out to be a great day on the bike, so get out there and have a great Feb!