The temperature here in London has dropped over the past few days to wintry levels and with this has come the appearance of ice on the roads. I typically leave my flat in East London between 7.30am and 7.45am every morning to head off to work. It's a time when the ice that formed the night before hasn't had any chance to thaw.
For the past few days the temperature must have been lurking just above freezing as I set off for work, since I hadn't seen any ice. Yesterday however, I saw and experienced the first signs of the slippery stuff. I say experienced because as I made a slight turn whilst applying a little power at the same time I felt my rear wheel slip. It was only a small slip but was enough to remind me to beware.
This morning there was yet more ice on the roads. Actually the ice was confined to the quieter roads where salt hadn't been scattered the previous night. The first 10 minutes of my daily commute is made up of riding through the quieter roads. Usually it's a nice easy start to my ride but this morning I was immediately on high alert. I could hear the subtle crack of thinly layered ice as I gingerly rode, ever so slowly, along the rink like roads. I quickly made a decision to seek sanctuary on the busier roads knowing there would be less chance of ice. I was right, relieved I picked up speed and made my way along with the familiar throng of traffic.
Cycling along the ice covered roads on my 23mm wide tyres this morning wasn't pleasant. I didn't feel in control and was aware that at any moment I might end up on my arse. Fortunately I didn't but I was on the limit in terms of the amount of risk I was willing to take. I'm pretty sure I won't be riding on the road this weekend especially not the country lanes I usually frequent. Come Monday morning I'll assess the situation again. If it's colder than today I'll take the train to work.
It's nearly time to pull out the rollers!