January 24, 2010 by welshcyclist
I have been looking forward to a ride on my bike for a few days, as you will all know, from my constant bleatings about my fear of ice, I have hardly ridden for the best part of 6 weeks, now. The snow has gone, there was no forecast for ice and freezing temperatures overnight, and when I got up, there was a touch of rain in the air, and no sign of ice anywhere. I thought to myself, at last.
So I togged up, got my bike, the Subway 1, out of the shed and set off for a ride down and back up the valley. It was great to be out there, the slight drop of rain passed over, and blue skies opened up, as I cycled through the village, at roughly 08.30 this fine Sunday morning. I tried to mix things up a bit, by altering my route. After passing through Glynneath itself, I cycled into Cwmgwrach, but instead of my normal U-turn, back towards Glynneath, I pedalled straight through Cwmgwrach, then went via a steep downhill lane to Unity mine and carried on past the sewerage works, along its service road, rejoining the main road behind MacDonalds.
Everything was fantastic, and I was really enjoying my time out in the fresh air, I did mention the sewerage works, didn’t I ? I was now trvelling back towards Glynneath, intending to take the old road towards Neath. The footpath there is recognised as a cyclepath also, so I mounted the pavement, to follow it along the old road.
Big, Big Mistake !!
Next thing I knew, I was slammed to the ground, as my front wheel just slid away from me, down the slight camber to my right. Fortunately, this meant I was going to the left, as my Subway 1 went to the right. My left shoulder hit the ground square on, then I slid along the ground, which fortunately for me was smooth tarmac, for about 20 feet. When my bike and I had come to a stop, my first thoughts were of embarrassment, who had seen this debacle, and so on. I quickly saw that there was no one about to have witnessed the event, and then started to check for damage, my shoulder was fine, it didn’t even feel stiff or sore, thank goodness for that. Getting to my feet, I soon found out why I’d ended up in such a heap, the pavement was a sheet of ice, why I don’t know ?? I hadn’t seen any signs of the stuff since I’d left home.
Turning next to my Subway 1, I breathed a sigh of relief, that no damage at all had been sustained. Gingerly, I took the bike from the pavement onto the road, where there was no ice at all. As a car then passed, I pretended to be looking at my gears, in the hope of not drawing attention to myself, you know I don’t anyone to know that I’m some sort of hopeless cretin who tries to stay upright on a bike. The car duely passed by, and then I felt a stiffness in my left shin, looking down I saw the damage that I had sustained.
A large lump in the middle of my shin, with two nasty cuts, and blood slowly rolling down into the top of my sock. The picture above hardly does it justice, now cleaned up, it’s still pretty sore.
My ride didn’t stop there though, despite turning back at that point, I cycled back through Glynneath, and on to Pont Nedd Fechan, before returning home. I have to say I was constantly checking the surface of the ground I cycled over, looking for possibilities of ice, and where I was doubtful, I took it real slow. The good news is I made it home in one piece.
But I do so hate ice, more than ever now.
Kudos to all you other guys who ride it regular, I guess I’m just a wimp !