Valley of Lights bike ride 29/11/12

Brass monkeys. So cold I feared for my toes.
The idea of the Valley of Lights, as well as being fun and a nice thing to do before Christmas, is to give support to all the local businesses affected by the terrible amounts of flooding in the summer.
I parked in Mytholmroyd at Russell Dean or Pearl and Dean in my head and then managed to miss the train because I thought it went at 5.35 but actually it was 5.25.
Still the 6.05 turned up on time despite alerts to the contrary and 10 mins later I was in Todmorden. Chris arrived as I came out of the station having had a free ride and we pedalled off to the high school gym where we registered, picked up snacks and drinks and more lights for our bikes which were being dished out by David Dodwell, lovely to see him again, he was a marshall.
This was all a bit rushed and then we went to Bramsche Square to assemble all lit up.
About 100 of us set off with a car and Mountain Rescue in front setting the (very slow) pace.
We stopped at the big lay by for a couple of mins and then went on to the JCB park where we had a long wait. Our feet and hands were alternately freezing. I had a wee behind a JCB and the steam rose up! No time for one before!
It was well below freezing as cars we passed were iced up.
Finally got going to roll down into Hebden. We were cheered all the way by the crowds which was very sweet especially as we didn’t really do much. It brought a smile to my face instead of the cold face of pain! We made as much noise as possible with our bells and whooped too.
Stopped for 5 mins then off to the Dusty Miller in Mytholmroyd. We had some beer and snacks. I could have done with hot soup but the DM not yet ready for business so not an option. Chris chatted to MR friend who was with her teenage son who Chris had delivered.
Then we got the bikes in and on the car reasonably efficiently and I went home via Walsden. After unloading at my end I had hot chocolate with rum in it and went to bed with a hot water bottle.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Tod to Hebden and back by bike 24/11/12

After pimping up our hair, Chris and I cycled along the canal to Hebden. It was really cold and our fingers only got warm when we stopped. I managed to get my wheel stuck in a rut in a very cold run off from the canal. Having just had to have a new wheel after my ridiculous episode with the bike on the roof rack last week, I had to ease the wheel free whilst getting soaked through as I didn’t want to incur any more expense. I’ve been really obsessive about making sure the bike is properly on the rack too. Triple checks. Wearing trainers meant that my foot was cold and wet. Winter cycling is a wholly different game and not something I’ve ever done much.
We have discussed footwear quite a bit. Chris has some overboots but they weren’t with her yesterday.
Arriving at the Alternative Technology Centre, we first got some hot chocolate and a piece of tiffin to share. Then we got stuck in pimping up our now totally filthy bikes with LED wire, I think that’s what it is, it’s basically wire that lights up. We wound the wire onto the frames and then glued it in place with a hot glue gun, that was good fun, I’d never used one before. By the way, don’t stick your finger in the hot glue because it hurts! Sometimes, I think only half a brain is in place.
Nancy came along and had a hot chocolate too and some of the tiffin went her way. She said all the right things about our hair!
Next Chris took me to the bike shop, here I bought waterproof socks and some proper cycle shoes, which were straight on. Chris also got socks and put them on. The man in the shop was a bit of all right which made the shopping a most enjoyable experience.
Then after shoving some food in our faces rather hurriedly, we whizzed back along the canal to Tod with dry and warm feet.
We had a drink in the Bear, mine was hot apple juice with a cinnamon log in it. Lovely. Then Chris went to do her stewarding for the Valley of Lights parade and I cycled back to the car, did my triple checks on the bike and then home to wash it off. All my gear was incredibly filthy so this seemed to take a long time.
The night cycle ride where we get to show off our bikes is on Thursday.
I didn’t take any photos as I was too cold.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.