I was on a short pass this morning so I decided to forego the club run for a solo ride. Passing through the villages I saw a half dozen riders ahead. I caught them up, and as we were heading in the same direction, we got chatting.
A couple of minutes later I was sliding along the road, on my backside. My back wheel had slipped on ice. Only 15 days until the end of the year and I was on the deck for the first time. At least I was at the back of the group and luckily the guy next to me managed to control his stop. Apart from a broken bottle cage, my bike and I were fine.
I say this was unexpected because I hadn’t anticipated icy roads. Setting off it was cold, but not freezing. Places where I would expect to see ice were clear and, while some shady stretches under trees were lightly touched by frost, alarm bells did not ring. Nevertheless, we had manged to find a sheet of ice across the road. I must remember, there is no place for complacency on winter roads.
But why was it an embarrassing fall? Well, we had been talking about the merits, or otherwise, of riding triathlon bikes in a group (a topic of recent debate locally). And the bunch of riders I had caught? No less than, our local triathlon club, several of whom were on remarkably clean triathlon bikes for the filthy roads. I, on the other hand, was on my winter bike, with wider, supposedly grippier winter tyres. Ice is no respecter of the type of bike you ride.