Tuesday, March 08, 2005

On a positive note

It has been several degrees above zero for the last few days, and I think we've turned the corner at last. On a negative note, it's been wet, which equals a lot of mud on person + bike as well as a lot of cold when your appendages get wet. I've managed to solve the cold feet problem with a "pro tip" of wrapping cling wrap around my shoes, underneath my shoe covers. Unfortunately, it's difficult to do that on my hands and I realised toward that even two pairs of gloves does nothing to stop your hands getting cold when they get wet. I think I'll buy some disposable plastic gloves...

Today I went with a couple of young Belgians after we left the Schelde, and we did a loop from Oudenaarde - Zottegem via the Leberg and Berendries, then back home to Gent. I was marvelling at the resilience of one of the guy's tyres, because he was riding on the edge of the road through all the sand, rocks, dirt, mud, slush, etc. and hadn't punctured. Approx. five minutes later, his front tyre went flat.

Surprisingly, he didn't seem to have much of a clue about changing a tyre, so the two of us helped with words of encouragement. The wind was blowing strongly and it was too cold to take our gloves off and actually lend a hand. Anyway, he eventually forced the tube in and managed to completely bend the valve while pumping it up.

God it was cold when we got going again, and going over the cobbles just before the Leberg was rather painful. But my hands got worse after the Berendries, where it's always a couple of degrees cooler I reckon. They felt like they were cracking every time I moved my fingers or went over a bump. At least it had stopped raining. As we got closer to Gent, it warmed up a tad, but it was still quite hard to turn my key in the lock once I finally got home.

Bugger, gotta do the live of Paris-Nice. Cold there too.

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