On the last weekend of November, a small but hardy (and a little bit nuts) group of us did a New Forest cycle ride. It wasn’t just any ride. It was some of the worst conditions we’ve ridden in.

High winds, 2 degrees, sleet and snow.

What are we doing? Why are we doing this? We don’t have to do this. But we like to do this! It’s what makes us tick and made us feel well and truly alive. And boy it was great!!

It was a ride never to be forgotten in many ways. A week on and having only just about defrosted, as I sit here sipping a hot cuppa and munching on a dry Ryvita, I reflect on the strength of character of the riders and their desire to simply be involved and ‘get out there’.

It would have been so easy to look out of the window, see the conditions were horrible and return to slumber. Each to their own of course. But something that sets active/competitive people apart is their determination for the ‘show to go on’ and satisfy the need to test ourselves both mentally and physically.

There is no doubt safety had to be a priority during such a ride. Visible and warm clothing, lights, and helmets were a must.

New clothing

I tested out some clothing from DECATHLON SOUTHAMPTON and have to say they did the job superbly well. A base layer and warm/reflective jacket, bib longs and gloves were plenty to keep me warm, comfortable and visible.

How did we all feel afterwards?

We all came back safely with a mixture of thoughts and feelings.

“Crikey it’s cold”

“I’ve got ice-cream head”

“Glad that’s over”

“Where’s the nearest pub that serves breakfast?!”

“When can we do the next one?”

As it happens, the next one is next weekend and I look forward to joining up with more like-minded cyclists who are keen to step out of their comfort zones and further explore their inner strengths. Oh, and tackle to Happy Cheese breakfast!

Some of the photos