Mad Dogs and Englishmen…

… might go out in the noonday sun, but they generally have the sense not to venture out in the Beast from the East.

I, on the other hand, have no such qualms.

I’m never sure, whenever the topic of my cycling to work comes up, whether my colleagues at work think that I’m mad because I cycle, or that I cycle because I’m mad. On days like today, it’s probably a bit of both. Because the long awaited Beast from the East struck this afternoon. Granted, its teeth were well worn down by the time it had made its way across the country to the Midlands, but still: 40mph winds combined with snow can combine to make life on a bicycle something not entirely unlike hell. Here’s the forecast for my commuting slot:

2018-03-01 08.43.28

Thankfully, I’m bright enough to delay my departure to the period when the wind speed had halved, leaving only a light, pleasant breeze blasting the snow into my face. The result was an invigorating tootle through picturesque country lanes covered in snow. Like this:

Gorgeous. Delightful. And for a change, the few cars that passed me were going really slow because they were terrified of the white stuff. Or they were BMWs with rear wheels spinning wildly. Poor things.

As for me, I was hoping for a dramatic photo at the end of it all, in the ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ genre. Alas, ’twas a bit of a let down – barely an icicle to be seen in my hairy chin. I should clearly have taken a detour and made it a longer ride, in order to genuinely comply with Rule #9. Maybe next time.

2018-03-01 16.22.30

The only downside of this weather is that my early season staple, the Mad March Hare, has been cancelled. What do they think we are, slackers? It snowed two years ago on the start line, and it was raining at 1° last year, and that’s half the fun of it. Perhaps a slog down the canal over the weekend would serve as a suitable recompense.


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