Sunday 16th February
A bright and sunny start to the day, BUT! the thermometer says its 0.1 degrees outside.
Usual dressing up with long sleeve thermal vest[ North Face this time] and my Gore Cycle wear 'Tool' soft shell jacket - brilliant jacket that is plenty warm enough on very cold days and is shower proof, providing you wash and update the waterproofing. DHB Roubaix tights and my trusty Shimano Goretex boots bought several years ago as I was fed up with cold wet feet, they have been excellent over the years, I don't get cold feet and unless the water comes over the top always have dry feet. A buff with a polartec piece around my neck and another Buff under my helmet to keep my ears warm.My Altura 'allegedly waterproof' night vision gloves kept my hands warm,despite 'the waterproof' not appearing to work last Thursday!!
Mike was already on my doorstep waiting, reporting that the roads were a little slippery. We set off in the Pilsdon Pen direction, meeting lads from the local cycling club returning [we learned later they had abandoned because the roads were icy] as we headed towards Winsham, roads indeed were icy where the sun had not managed to penetrate trees or in high hedge sheltered areas. a slow pace followed, with a few scary moments as we met ice patches where water ran over the road from the flooding of the previous week. Not until we were turning uphill at Broadwindsor to Pilsdon did the roads start to thaw and we noticed the road had now been gritted. A fabulous sunny day and the view from Pilson Pen towards the coast was outstanding, Colmers Hill above Bridport standing out. A quick slurp of drink and an energy bar and we were off, thankfully the down hill back to Birdsmoorgate was ice free, thanks to the gritting.
The ridge past Sadbarrow had a fine display of snowdrops in the hedgerows. The descent through Thorncombe had lots of debris on the road, making a speedy descent awkward over stones and gravel washed out of the fields. The road at Forde Abbey was particularly bad with a very large puddle across the road. The rest of the ride home was uneventful, needless to say the average speed for the ride was not one of our best, but compensated for by the fantastic weather and beautiful country side, 23miles clocked up and it was home for coffee.