There are very few things that can’t be improved by adding ice. Take drinks. All drinks can be improved with ice. Take tea. On it’s own it’s just brown boiled water. Add ice though and it becomes swaggering hip-hop muthafunkin’ gangsta, Ice T. That’s how powerful ice can be. It can make hot water cool.
There’s one thing however that can’t be improved with ice and that’s cycling. Ice is dangerous. And not in an 1990’s ‘dangerous’ is cool type way. I’m talking a smash your head off the road kind of danger.
Take yesterday. The Glasgow Triathlon Club held it’s annual race up the Crow Road, a three mile road climb from Lennoxtown, north of Glasgow, to top of the Campsie hills. Iain and I joined them and, afterwards, decided to carry on over the Campsies and back along the Carron Valley before climbing back over the Campsies at the Tak Me Doon road.
Only one problem
Lots of ice.
Glittering across the road like tempting frosting but, like frosting, likely to leave you flat on your back if you have too much of it.
We were halfway along the Carron Valley when we realised that there more ice on the road than road. Iain was already though the worst of it but I could see I still had five metres to go. I tried to keep upright, tried to slow down so I could put a foot out but all I ended up doing was falling back off the bike as my front wheel slid under me.
As I fell I remember thinking: “Don’t put your hands out, you’ll only break something”.
Which was good advice.
For my hands.
But not my head.
My head bounced up off the road.
I lay there for a few second, looking up. It was a cold day but there was a blue sky.
“That was stupid,” I thought to myself, “now, do I need to stay awake for 24 hours?”
A random thought. You hit your head, you stay awake for 24 hours. But I was wearing a helmet, I hadn’t blacked out, and I knew, even as I was thinking, that it was a daft thought.
“You’re okay, just get up.”
I pushed myself up, being careful to keep my footing on the ice.
I was okay. No cuts or bruises, no road rash, just fuzzy head and stiff neck from the mild whiplash of hitting the ground.
Iain had returned. He was concerned, obviously: “You didn’t scratch my bike, did you?” He said.
Which is the first question anyone asks if they see there bike on the ground, even if their brother’s lying beside it!
To be fair, I’d borrowed his bike for today’s ride. I’d also borrowed his girlfriend’s cycle helmet as I’d forgotten my own which meant my final thought after getting up was: “Thank God no one called an ambulance – I’m wearing a ladies helmet with pink trim!”
Which would not be cool, even with ice.