Let's be careful out there

As our thoughts turn from platefuls of turkey and sprouts to the challenging business of winning back our pre-Christmas fitness, there is a seasonal dilemma to face: do you risk cycling on icy roads or do you resign yourself to the sweaty drudgery of the turbo?

Unless you’re a special kind of masochist, you’ll probably opt for the road whenever possible. The turbo is tough at the best of times but hauling your stiff and bloated frame on board in a frozen shed in the deep mid winter knowing that nothing but solitary pain lies ahead takes self discipline to a whole new level. Riding on the road is so much more fun…and more sociable…and more rewarding. The risk of a bit of ice here and there seems a small price to pay.

But this blog post will appear less than a week after a Simpson team member came off on the ice and turned his hip and elbow into a purple and black bruise-fest. It will also be almost exactly a year since another one of Simpson’s finest came off on invisible black ice at no more than 15mph and ended up with mild concussion, some nasty bruising and a broken helmet. One of the riders we were with that day also went over but he wasn’t so lucky. His broken hip took months to mend.

Of course, nine times out of ten you’ll get away with it. You’ll spot the occasional glistening patch on the road and glide past it without so much as a wobble. But every once in a while it’ll go pear-shaped and then, if you’re really unlucky, you’ll have a few weeks of enforced inactivity during which to reflect on whether it was really worth it as you watch your cycling buddies build their fitness for the season ahead.