Written in the ice

Was it the free hub that wasn't working when I changed to my winter wheels? The little grub screw that burred on changing them back? Or the rusty pliers that preferred to pincer my skin than turn the screw? Someone could have been telling me something!

But I had a plan.
So I ignored them.
But they kept on trying.

Was it the forecast of snow? The spooky campsite? Or the deserted campervan spots in the furthest reaches of the ominous-feeling walled carpark in Helmsley? Should I be listening?

I have a plan.
And I will pedal.

So I found a spot on the main road, not right on anyone's front garden either and concluded. Safe.

My plan to have the heating on low all night with an electric hookup was scuppered and I daren't leave the gas on in case there was nothing for a cup of tea first thing. I sorted a hot water bottle, put the hot empty metal kettle in the bed too, wore three pairs of socks and didn't bother to remove any clothes apart from one pair of trousers (yep, there were two) and snuggled down.

Toastie, apart from the tip of my nose. So dozing off was not happening.

Luckily (yes something was on my side), my feet got too hot so I laid a fluffy set of three socks, one inside the other, across my head like a mohican so that the toe part was just covering my nose. Sorted.

After a cracking night's sleep, I was prepared to accept this really was a sign.

Opening the van blinds this morning made me feel like I was inside an ice cube and, with my breath clearly visible, it did feel distinctly possible.  The sun was shining but we were in a frosted whiteout.

Time for a cup of tea.
And then the heating.

Now, the idea of this ride was it was only 30 miles (sensible) and got me into the North Yorkshire Moors where I've been itching to cycle for a while. I've done a few routes here, years ago, but fairly sure not this one.

I waited until 9.30 before setting off to give the sun a bit of a chance against the white beast covering the tarmac.  

Still, mighty chilly!

An uphill start had me warming up fairly quickly but there were a few too many fingers of glass ice stretching across the road for my liking and plenty of even colder air higher up to come. The only time I think I'll ever be pleased to see a spreading gritter heading towards me on a bike on a single track road is today. And there it was!

Having, I worked out, gritted most of my ride, this was looking like luck was swinging in my favour.

I'm not entirely sure the difference it had made to the thick stuff so I went downhill on the first half more slowly than going up, only having to get off once for an ice field and another time making a last minute choice of frosty grass verge over ice rink.

All going swimmingly skatingly!

I knew from fairly early on this would be my first ride of Type 2 Fun. And by heck, it was all of that! Seriously cold, I hopped on and off my bike pretty rapidly for photos.  I should vow to return in warm weather because the variety of landscapes really was delightful.

I did have a Plan B, albeit near the end. And frankly took it, with zero deliberation, after the descent from Hutton-le-Hole to the main road. Plan A continued to weave on the other side back to Helmsley for an extra mile. Not appealing. I, therefore, took the main road into a decent headwind straight back to the van. Never has a village been such a relief to arrive at!

Leftover dinner could be heated up. Cup of tea made. Still gas left for heating.
It was clearly meant to be!

Blip 1500! 
Well, it gets you out! :D

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