Friday, 2 March 2012

A Foggy March Commute

I peeked out of the kitchen window tentatively this morning as another thick morning fog had settled, forcing my “look at how light it is in the mornings, yay!” feeling of late to turn into a second round of coffee and a slightly more sedate mood.

However, as it is now March I was determined to stick with shorts and ditch the toe covers. A few very warm mornings in the last few weeks have lured me into a ‘thinking it’s definitely now Spring’ trap. I faffed about for a teeny bit longer ensuring my tyre pressures were spot on and my socks were an even height on my ankles before telling myself to stop being a wuss and get on with it.

Five minutes in and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, it was a bit cold, I needed millions of lights and my whole face was wet with dew but I was out on my bike and I felt pretty damn righteous about it. Another five minutes passed. I dropped into the Woodford Valley, where the fog was eating up visibility more quickly than I can polish off a bag of triple chocolate cookies. Misty droplets clung to my eyelashes and I could feel the chill spreading into my toes and fingertips. I was torn between pushing harder to warm myself up and reducing speed to prevent extra wind chill.

By thirty minutes in I was really feeling the cold and really regretting the shorts decision. My legs were blushing red and sore from the cold and I briefly considered crawling into a roadside hedge, curling into a small ball and hibernating for a couple of hours until the sun burned through so I could continue my journey in comfort. I turned to begin the ascent up to Highpost and grumpily slogged uphill.

As I climbed out of the valley, the fog gradually thinned and the sky slowly brightened from deep grey to brilliant blue. When I reached the top the view below was cast with a deep, hazy orange and for that brief moment I forgot all about feeling cold, damp and grumpy. Seeing the very picturesque and unwintery vista renewed my enthusiasm and reminded me why I get up at early o’clock to cycle to work.

Maybe I’ll just stick with leggings for another few weeks.

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