With Spring around the corner (I'm told), the onslaught of snow dumped over the country has been... polarising. In a typical British attitude everyone has found something to complain about:
Going outside means you get cold and you get wet
Trails are muddy
The endless post-ride clean up
This isn't to say that all of these aren't true, but there are some blinking good things about all of this stuff that's all over the place. It doesn't translate so well into a concise list so indulge me here, while I try to explain why (I think) snow isn't so bad.
I know these are a rarity, but getting wrapped up in base layers, puffy jackets and boots feels really exciting. It feels like we're going on an adventure, frosty hills meeting blue skies, this can't be the same place as before... we must have gone into Narnia! So plans have to change, and that Peaks epic you'd planned has been whittles down to a 10k-er, but what's the problem? Fresh air, generous views, top bantz, it's all good in my book.
It's a bold statement, but I don't think there is anything as delightful as watching a dog play in the snow. Our dog is a rescue from Turkey, and you'd think his little Mediterranean bones would shy away from the cold, but no. This guy is happier than any human or animal I have ever seen. How can you complain at that?
As I have written about before, I do love a pub. I love the thought of the pub at the end before I've even set off. I love changing into my "aprés-ride" attire with some delicious food next to a roaring fire (note: "pub" in this case could actually be my living room or campervan, but the term "pub" refers to all post-ride chilling) and this whole experience is at a new level when it's snowy outside. Pink-cheeked and worn out from a fun few hours sliding around on the trails, what better place to relive it all?
And then there are the non-bluebird days, when it's a literal blizzard outside and all of the water pipes in your house have frozen over (true story). Time loses all meaning - similar to when you're at the airport and it's acceptable to have a beer at 7am, and you hunker down. It might be next to the wood burner, or under a mountain of duvets, play with Lego, organise photo albums or plan for the thaw. Sometimes hibernation definitely has its perks.
Having said all of that... Is it Spring yet?