Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Horizontal Dismount

Despite the warnings from my wife I headed out on the bike on Sunday. "Be careful, it's really icy" I was told and I did actually take notice. To start with I wrapped up nice and warm to keep the cold out. Once I was a few minutes down the road I was toasty warm. My only cold spot was my toes, at certain points in the ride they were like blocks of ice even though I had two pairs of socks on. Overshoes for Christmas anyone?

Additionally, I took things very slowly and gingerly. Since I try and avoid the main roads I couldn't be sure that the lanes had been gritted. High hedges on either side of the road also tend to leave the lanes in shade at this time of year as the sun doesn't get high enough to penetrate to the road, leaving the surface icy. But it was actually a lovely ride. The sun was shining, the frost on the fields and trees looked beautiful, and if I ignored my cold toes everything in the world was wonderful.

Reaching Sherborne I got onto the old Ironman UK route and headed to Dorchester. However, I knew I didn't have time for a full lap so when I reached Lyons Gate hill I did a few hill repeats. Sit down in the saddle, make sure not to stand up, grind all the way to the top of the hill, rest for one minute, ride back down the hill, rinse and repeat. I am still no good on hills and I hate them. They are very good for warming your toes up though. With the additional exertion adding to my body temperature by the time I reached the top of the hill on each repeat my poor toes had thawed and felt comfy again. By the time I reached the bottom of the hill they had returned to their icy state again. The brief respite was very welcome, though I would have enjoyed it more if I was not concentrating so hard on stopping my lungs jumping out of my throat and escaping from my chest.

After the required number of repeats I turned right at the top of the hill and headed home. This leads me eventually to the title of this post. After being careful for the whole ride, ten minutes from home I turned down the usual back lane that I take to get home, thinking more about my nice hot shower than on what I was doing. With hindsight this lane was obviously a bad idea. As I turned in I could see it really wasn't looking very good. But I carried on anyway and within a couple of seconds I had a disagreement with my front wheel. It went one way while I went another. The end result being me sliding along on the icy road. Once I came to a stop I unclipped from my pedals to perform my horizontal dismount and pushed my bike the 100m back to the main (gritted) road. The lane was so icy I had a job walking along it.

Luckily there was very little damage. A tiny bit of skin lost from my thigh, a bit of bruising and, most annoyingly, a hole in my bib-tights. Oh well, lesson learned and two things to add to the Christmas list.


Karen said...


I think you know what I'm saying!

Bye Bye IMUK on your doorstep!

BOLTON.... BLIMEY! Where IS that?! LOL!

MikeyB said...

The gits!

No disrespect to Bolton, but it is not Dorset is it?