|L pad solo manny session in the wet|
The novelty of the cold weather has thoroughly worn off, there's a certain charm of getting tooled up for the cold, pulling on layers of clothing and gloves and scarfs, then long johns, buffs, gloves and thermals when it gets extra cold. Another drop in temperature and clemency then its water proofs and those stupid underpants looking things that go under your helmet to keep your ears warm. Weather wise I'm currently at the stage of looking like the michelin man. When I get in off my bike of an evening I'm like a 20 stone Russian doll and asthe central heating goes on and the progressive layers peel off I'm back to my 11 and a half stone weekling self.
While out riding occasional flasks of tea go around and we warm up by blowing hot air from mouth to glove and doing ill advised and made up on the spot stretches, perhaps we'll jog about, or more likely just chat shit while shivering. If bike riding in January is to be enjoyed you have to squeeze extra tightly to eek out the fun.
I'm a street rider and although 5 Bridges is less than a mile from my house, is as close as a skatepark gets to being a street spot and is covered overhead by a motorway bridge and quite sheltered from the sides by concrete or cider bottle riddled bushes, it is always cold, grey and depressing with varying degrees of moisture creeping from its waxy paving. With the constant winter wetness on all roads and pavements and a bustling micro scooter scene multiplying inside indoor skateparks like a rampant mould culture in a perfect laboratory conditions 5 Bridges is my only realistic option at the weekend in the winter.
My parameters have to change in the winter, by the time a session gets fully going and I get in one trick or line that felt good I'll suddenly feel stoked even if we only last that one hour. If I do manage to ride any street I'll be happy sessioning a soaked curb with one line where its only 5050 if I'll slip the pedals. If we hit one spot on a Sunday and manage to get a single line then rush hurriedly to the pub to sit around an open fire at least we managed that one spot and that one line.
I'm 33, should I still be playing out in the winter, or at all for that matter? I gave up a long time ago doing what I should do, now I follow my impulsions, my brain and body still tell me to ride daily so that's what I do and that's what makes me happy. I say happy, rolling around watching people try to footage a manual line in sub zero temperatures tests the patients of any man and then that's before injury or bicycle malfunction come in to play. Maybe I'm more highly strung in the winter or suffering from seasonal depression, mostly I feel like I just have to battle on and try and enjoy myself.
What more could I do to try and stay sane.
|sub zero pissing in the bushes|
|New bike session at 5 Bridges|
|I felt for whoever broke their chain in this weather|
|Lost glove seen out street riding on new years day.|
|Top of the hill in Gateshead, New Years day solo spot hunting|