I’ve been studiously avoiding riding in the wet recently, to preserve the newness of my new bike, but I hadn’t reckoned on the fog.
When I say fog, we’re not talking a few wispy patches of low cloud here and there, but two and a half unbroken days of a thick, grey blanket; the kind of weather which has makers of atmospheric horror films flocking to make use of this doom-laden backdrop.
In my mind it’s now not so much the fog, as “THE FOG!”, and sounds for all the world like the title of a Hitchcock thriller (but isn’t).
The weekend had arrived with the forecasters predicting a cloudy morning, clearing later to give sunny spells and pleasant temperatures, but none of us knew that ‘clearing later’ meant 60 hours later! You may think I’m being dramatic here (perish the thought!), but we’re talking lights on the bike in the middle of the afternoon and an oppressive enveloping shroud which, for any cyclist prone to a nervous disposition, would have ruled out a bike ride.
Not me, of course…I went out for a couple of hours in this eerie atmosphere, accompanied by a few (probably) depressed geese honking mournfully through the fog, and a general feeling of “crikey, I really hope one of these cars rattling past doesn’t clip me and send me careering over the hedge and into that field…!”
I wouldn’t have been found for days. And with only the maudlin fog-bound geese for company.
But anyway, back to where this story began…
It turns out it’s easy to get caught on-the-hop by such insistent fog, and so despite the dry roads and a complete lack of any rainfall, I returned home on a wet bike, in wet kit. The simple act of riding through this thick moisture laden cloud managed to soak me as completely as any of the best northern drizzle that coastal Lancashire has to offer.
It hasn’t done the bike any harm, of course, and as it happens the roads were largely free of the usual bike-dirtying ingredients to be found at this time of year – the remains of winter grit, and the tractor tyre mud from farmer’s to-ing and fro-ing from field to field.
I would love to share a selection of photos of this afternoon jaunt through the fog, but frankly there’d be very little to see. I’ll just share this one, to give you a flavour of the overwhelming greyness of my Sunday afternoon ride:
Please…if you are in anyway inclined towards depression, or are still miserable from a desperate lacking of vitamin D at the end of a long winter without sunshine, then it might be wise not to dwell on this scene for too long.
A bike ride through fog this thick is like pedalling through liquid apathy – the claustrophobic grey and overwhelming dullness might be enough to tip you over the edge.