|Andy on the roadside on the approach to Tatsfield churchyard.|
Cycling up the road, however, things changed. It started to snow. Only very finely, but it was snowing and as I reached the top of Church Hill it was quite heavy snow and it was laying. By the time I reached the Green I was wondering when Andy would call with an abort text, but nothing came my way and then, having been on the Green for about four minutes, he turned up.
The snow continued to fall as we made our way past Knight's Garden Centre and the temperature had dropped too. My feet (and other extremities) were frozen and we were surprised to see a couple of other cyclists out on the road - only the hardened few get up and go out in this sort of weather. Or perhaps that should read 'only the real idiots go out in this sort of weather'. And, to be fair, we were a couple of idiots, but, in a strange sort of way, we were both very happy to be out in the snow. It doesn't matter if you're wrapped up well - and we both were.
|Yours truly, carrying his bike in the Tatsfield churchyard.|
My only mistake was putting on a pair of old Doctor Marten shoes, purchased in Portland, Oregon, in 2007, when I had a perfectly decent pair of walking boots in the porch. To be fair, apart from the shoes making my feet much colder than they would otherwise have been in the boots, the only real problem they presented me with was walking when we finally reached the Tatsfield Churchyard - a foolish venue choice as there's no cover and the seats would be covered in snow and ice.
Remember that Doctor Marten shoes have smooth soles - not ideal for snow or ice. It took me four times as long to walk from the churchyard gate to our benches than it took Andy, but fortunately I had the bike to keep me upright.
We munched our cereal bars and drank our tea, standing up for two reasons - one, there were no benches on which to sit; and two, to improve the circulation in our feet. Had the church been open, we'd have gone inside, but it was locked so we loitered about and then it started to snow again.
Around 9am we headed back home and, to be fair, it was very pleasant. Cold, yes, but it was an invigorating ride and we both felt better for going and not sitting around in the house feeling smug that we were warm when it was cold and unforgiving outside.
There's something very nice and evocative about snowy landscapes and Andy managed to get a few shots (as you can see). It took me back to the early days of our cycling when we went a bit mad on going our regardless of the weather. On the way back there were virtual white-out conditions, but we were kitted out in warm clothing (apart from those DMs) and that made it pleasant.
|Andy took this shot of the landscape with yours truly in the foreground.|
One last point, it was the first time we went out when it was snowing before we mounted our bikes. Normally, we'd have aborted, but we went for it; every other time, we'd been caught in the poor weather.