Of mad dogs and Englishmen

The mornings, cold and foggy, have conspired with my lazy genes to keep me off my bike for much of this week. I get up, look out the window, check the messages on my phone, then snuggle back under the duvet for another half-hour or so. Shame on me.

But this morning I was determined to hit the road regardless of the weather and that horrible little voice in my head that talks me out of doing exercise.

No sooner was I trundling down Kensington High Street, wrestling red buses and a couple of irritable black cabs, than it started to snow. It was pointy snow. Sharp and cold. At first I didn’t know what it was, I just knew it was hurting my face!

By the time I’d cycled to Hyde Park Corner, a couple of miles down the road, I could feel the cold seeping into my bones. I can’t say this has ever happened before because I’m usually snuggly warm in all my layers – thermal tights and waterproof trousers, a moisture-wicking long-sleeved tee-shirt, a high-necked fleece and a day-glow windproof cycling jacket, plus fleece gloves.

So there I was shivering in my many mantles of clothing when I spied a fellow cyclist – a man – whizz by wearing Lycra bike shorts and a tight-fitting tee-shirt. What do they say? Mad dogs and Englishmen? Brrrrrr.


4 thoughts on “Of mad dogs and Englishmen

  1. When I was a graduate student, my cut-off point for cycling in to campus (no fancy clothes!) was an entirely arbitray 17 F / -8 C. That was the point at which it was just too miserable. I drew the line at cycling in the snow, also… Ah, those were the days. Now I get huffy at the thought of a car that doesn’t have bum-warming seats.


  2. Colin, fortunately the temperatures here in London rarely drop below zero so I really can’t use excessive coldness as an excuse not to cycle. I can, however, blame black ice, fog, sleet, strong winds and just a general “it doesn’t look like cycling weather to me” as legitimate reasons to take the tube to work instead! 😉
    Melody, I’m not sure it’s brave – stupid more like. My colleagues didn’t even know it was snowing, but that’s not surprising because our office is like a cave – we have the blinds down all day long otherwise we can’t see our computer screens because of the glare. Is it any wonder I look anaemic!


  3. The cold is all the mind. Yeah right. I was telling myself that last night when we were at an outdoor St. Patrick’s day concert. I was so cold that my hand was shaking holding a beer, and it was probably not even below 40 (in my defense though it was quite windy). Anyway, this Englishman wouldn’t be out there on a bike in that kind of weather, it is impressive that you were.


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