Epic? Not in the way was expecting. The plan was to ride from dawn until dusk during the shortest day, I was 2 days late in my plan but this only gave a 1 minute variation on the dawn timing. Nothing to worry about.
It was Christmas eve and yy bike was loaded with a bottle, a spare small container filled with snacks, an alpkit possum frame bag and a dry bag attached to the forks via the Salsa Anything cages. I rolled out of the garage and down the road. My exposure lights were on as it was still dark and the roads were quiet. I headed towards the gravel roads that I enjoyed riding during the summer and it was all looking rosey. I was spoilt with a lovely sunrise along the gravel roads, only the smoke coming from the nearby factory would spoil my views.
The gravel roads were full of pot holes and due to the recent rain, were filled with cold water and were pretty deep too. Whilst slowly picking my way around the pot holes, a Buzzard took off from the ground and flew alongside me. This year has been good for buzzards, I guess all everything below it in the food-chain is doing well. After a few miles of the gravel roads, I crossed over the motorway and turned into Frodsham.
Frodsham was busy, after all, it was Christmas eve and a lot of people were about shopping for last minute presents and popping into the local butchers for their Christmas meats. Frodsham is only a small village and I was quickly heading out of it on a small climb and then disaster! My dry bag that I was carrying on the forks had slipped, spun into the spokes of my front wheel, jammed and tossed me over the bars!
I went over the bars and was crashing onto the tarmac before I realised. I landed hard on my chin. I lay on the road for a few brief seconds before it dawned on me to get up and move the bike out of the way. I sat quietly on the roadside for a good amount of time in order to gather my senses and assess what had happened. On inspection, the cage was completely bent out shape and my dry bag was jammed in the wheel. I removed the wheel and undone the straps on the dry bag to free it. I had to unscrew the cage and bin it, it was a complete write-off! After ten to fifteen minutes, I was back on the bike but sadly, heading home. I had to leave the bag in a local bike shop (to collect on a later date).
The ride home was tiring, I felt a little out of it and the gravel roads just went on and on. The heavens opened and the heavy rain turned to hail. I was cold, wet and beaten up but I managed to get home and that’s the main thing. It was going to be a long day and I had to be self-sufficient, so the real bonus of the ride was getting home without calling up my wife asking for help!
Two days later, I was on the mend and managed to get a cheeky, evening ride in around the borders of Wales. It wont be until the end of January now that I will have the opportunity to repeat my solstice riding plan.