While others have fallen foul to feet of snow, my rather drab and dowdy corner of the northwest has (only) been gripped by a deep freeze the last few days.
Roads either sport an icy crust or are bleached by road salt. The cold has gnawed deep into the workings of my car, playing havoc with the electrics. The rear garden is permafrost.
As for cycling, well it’s a challenge. Gear limitations are easily exposed in these conditions. My winter tights offer some protection for an hour or so before icy tentacles worm their way to my thighs and knees and before grabbing hold and stiffening the joints.
The forehead may be damp under a windproof beanie, but the cold ravages the face leaving unsightly blotches when the blood returns. Lips are sandblasted in the sharp air.
I still venture out, though. Yesterday, I took the Kona over to Dove Stones reservoir whose waters were like glass. The back wheel slithered over ice on the bank side track. I then pushed on along quiet lanes, the cold silencing the landscape.
The turbo trainer is getting plenty of use, too. Permanently set up in the garage, I may do an hour reading a ‘book’ on my I-pod. The garage is not place to escape the frigid air, though. On Saturday, frost started to form on my head as the perspiration froze.
If not reading, I’m lost in my thoughts as I grind away. I recall long summer rides and tours to come. Half an hour left on the stopwatch? I’ve just enough time to ride through Assynt in my mind’s eye, the sun setting and trout rising in roadside lochs.