Let’s all join the great British snow moanathon! Snow sucks, it stops me getting to work/shopping/Benidorm. The government’s a joke, how can they let things get so bad!? The shops will go broke, businesses will go bust, I’ll starve, my rubbish bin will overflow, the post hasn’t come..............
........hang on a minute, let’s look at this another way, a positive way as in, hurrah, I don’t have to go to work/Tesco/Benidorm! All the shops will have to bring their sales forward, everything will be cheap for Christmas. I can finish off all the stuff in the freezer that dates from 1998. How wise, the government haven’t wasted my taxes on snow ploughs we’d only ever use once in a blue moon.
And last but not least, mountain biking in the snow is brilliant. I got a real taste for it earlier on in the year during the last great snowmageddon in January/February. When the muddy trails of autumn are rendered bone hard by the first decent frost, it’s time to break out the winter riding kit and get out there into the frozen wastes. When a couple of inches of snow fall, it’s time to party.
Riding in the snow is a mixed pleasure for sure, but one of which I never tire. Sometimes, a dusting of fresh powdery snow can make the trails as grippy as a warm summer’s day. Add a little ice and riding becomes a technique-testing lottery, an examination of your sense of balance, ability to relax when it’s all going Pete Tong and knack for dismounting at high speed.
Maybe the biggest buzz though is being out in the wilds when almost everyone else is snuggled up watching The Apprentice. I say almost everyone else because living in Sheffield means there are likely to be a few fellow nutters taking advantage of the conditions. Safe and warm and covered in every technical fabric known to Marmot, I will be pushing on, head down only to realise that a runner dressed only in shorts and singlet is appearing out of the blizzard. Crazy.
But it’s easy to understand why people love the challenge of tough conditions. An empty landscape is enticing, the thrill of a challenge hard to resist. Add to that the warm glow when you get home safe and sound and winter riding can be as rewarding as a hot summer’s day. Long may it last.
Happy Xmas from Sheffield!