-6° Celsius!

It was a tad on the chilly side as I left my house, loaded my bike stuff into the car and drove over to Warrington for the North Cheshire Clarion Sunday Club run.  In fact, the outside temperature gauge in the car recorded -6°C.  I thought I was dressed for it as I was wearing base layer, thermal t-shirt, road jersey and windtex jacket, along with thermal socks and overshoes on my feet and two pairs of gloves on my hands.  I also was wearing a thermal cap, buff, cycling cap and helmet.  And I was freezing!

Road to Rufford

By the time we reached the cafe at Rufford Marina I could not feel my toes and my fingers were so cold it was painful going over any bumps in the road.  The drink in my bottle had frozen at the bottom and was like a slushy at the top.

Simple winter fare

The roads were (perhaps understandably) quiet, and they were relative safe.  That said, any water on them had iced over so it still needed a little bit more care and attention.

The cafe was very welcome allowing us to warm up, get a nice hot cup of coffee and some medicinal food to get us going again.

The route back went up Parbold hill and via Upholland which introduced a couple of cheeky hills just to get the old heartbeat up a bit.  In fact, they were very welcome because they warmed me up a treat.

1,724ft of ascent

Gradients - Parbold - 10.2%, Upholland - 12.7%

Eight other hardy souls braved the cold, and only the one puncture today, so well done to those riders – a bit of a change from the recent 20-odd riders turning out.

Ride stats : 49.2 miles, 3hrs 21m @ 14.7mph average.  Average HR 122bpm, 2040kcals used

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