We have one week until International Women’s Day on the 8th March. We will be celebrating with ‘Peddle For Progress’: an illuminated bike ride along the historic Brighton Road. The snow has caused some anxiety, but luckily next Thursday’s weather reports look good, and the first part of the week has a good combination of sun and rain which will clear away the remainder of snow in no time.
Whenever it snows or rains I get all existential- ‘to cycle or not to cycle?’ but it’s an easy habit to slip in and out of, so it’s always worth considering cycling even if the weather looks a bit iffy. You don’t need fancy gear if you don’t have it- jumpers, coats, scarves and gloves all make a big difference, and putting a headscarf or thin cap under a cycling helmet can help too. However, some hazards are really dodgy (YES I MEAN ICE! I. HATE. ICE.) so it is okay to give cycling a skip if you don’t want to face the elements, I don’t feel like it’s an ‘all or nothing way of life’. However, over Christmas I did some really enjoyable cold weather cyling- it really gets your heart rate going so it can be the best way to keep warm when you are out and about. I love seeing Christmas lights and I found it so easy to whizz around my neighbourhood looking at all the different houses- I didn’t even realise how cold it was until I got off my bike to take some photos. There is no way I would have lasted if I’d been tramping about on foot and it did make me realise a bike is one of the best ways to squeeze some outdoor exercise in because it does keep you so warm.
Personally I’m not on the bike at the moment- the pavements feel slippy under foot to me and right now I’m not going to risk it. But I’m keeping a close eye on conditions- the moment the traction comes back into the roads I’m going to get back to cycling. On Monday we did our test ride of the Brighton Road route and it was truly glorious to cycle through the night air as it filled with snowflakes swirling around us. Sometimes winter riding can really pay off if you get the timing just right.
If you do go for it, take it gently, brake carefully and stay out of the gutter.