It’s the middle of winter (at least according to my calendar), so I thought I’d post a slight update on winter cycling. There are obviously all sorts of resources available (with my favourite being this one). But none that deal with the fantastic combination of diabetes and cycling.
So .. here we go. I am prepared this year. I got ready, early. My winter bike (which is my old bike, done up, cleaned [a bit], oiled [a lot] and dusted off) is ready to go. I even bought special gear: In this case spike tyres, warm, long bibs and waterproof socks. The socks are excellent (and also help when it’s raining), the bibs are nice enough and warm.
Which leaves the spike tyres.
Which are, let’s be honest, a pain in the rear. They are noisy, they require an inordinate amount of strength to accelerate with and they even manage to throw sparks in the forest. Which is a problem mainly because of this:
No, not the cows. Notice the lush green grass? Yes. No snow. Or Ice. Or even cold weather. While the Americans are freezing (or melting – or both) at this time of the year, we have had a warm spell. Since winter started (I think there was one day when we almost had a bit of snow on the roads. Until about nine, when the sun came out).
And my gear is useless. It was meant for this:
Or more specifically the roads (not the slopes, so much – honest!):
This is pretty much a perfect example. On those roads (lightly gritted in places where pedestrians cross, otherwise left untouched), cars compact the snow and it then sinters into a solid ice sheet. Not ideal with road bike tyres. A total blast with spikes.
It’s like going on rails. There is nothing to slow me down. No need to. Turns? Easy! Braking? Safe! Accelerating? Well… as bad as it is on a normal road, because those tyres are heavy, but still better than with road tyres.
So now I only need some snow. Preferrably the first day. Because that always causes a massive traffic problem, encompassing all of the city. And some of the surrounding countryside. And then I can race past everyone on my old winter franken-bike. With spikes.
Oh and 10% less basal rate than usual, because when it’s cold, I need more energy. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the diabetic tip of the day.