Shoes, socks and overshoes. Check. Bib shorts and bib tights. Check. Base layer, long sleeve jersey and soft shell. Check. Skull cap and helmet. Check. Oh, and gloves, of course. Must not forget my warmest winter gloves.
There’s a careful selection process that every cyclist goes through when preparing for a winter ride. But the most important thing I was wearing during Saturday morning’s sub-zero outing? Sunglasses.
The weather forecast made for grim reading – ice-cold temperatures and freezing fog that could combine to make roads treacherous. But instead the day dawned without a cloud in the sky.
The sun stood proud against its azure blue backdrop, burning away swatches of thick frost on the roadside, slowly revealing the patchwork of browns, yellows and greens that can be so dull yet beautiful at this time of year. The morning air was crisp; cold when sucked into the lungs but dead still and refreshingly clear. And the views? Stunning. Streams tranquil, trees silent, and birds, like us cyclists, flitting with the renewed vigour that comes when you know you’re being treated to one of the best days of the season. Perfect winter weather.