Distance: 56.6 miles. Elevation: 4348 ft
I thought I’d go for a decent ride on the last day of the year. It was a beautiful sunny day. Although it was a couple of degrees warmer than Monday, there turned out to be quite a bit more ice on the roads following a very cold night. I set off on the ride later than I had intended. Once again I wore my knee warmers, and this time I wore normal winter socks under my shoe covers and my feet were just right.
The main roads were quite dry and ice-free but some of the back lanes were covered right across with slushy compacted ice – I had to get off and walk at one point. Other times I rode carefully between the ice patches.
Once again, my knee-warmers seemed to help – I didn’t suffer any knee pain either on the ride or afterwards, even though this was quite a hilly route. It wasn’t as sunny as the day before and, because of my late start, it began to get dark just a couple of hours into the journey. By the time it was dark enough to have my front light on ‘full’, the ride had become less enjoyable. Imagine riding down a dark country lane in the freezing cold with a risk of ice and not being able to clearly see the road ahead. I had also decided to include some new lanes so I wasn’t even familiar with the route. At one point I saw something on the road ahead but couldn’t quite make out what it was; then, as my tyres crunched their way through it, I realised I was riding on ice, so I was careful not to brake or turn. It only lasted 10 metres or so.
So it was a bit of a slog towards the end, but the good news is that my knee was OK.
The ear-worm for most of this ride was “Walter” by the Kinks. Ommadawn tried to make a reappearance but I ignored it!