The week before last I observed what can only be described as mincing, on a bike. Little Chinese bloke riding a bike with his knees bowing out at about 45 degrees and pretty much only his toes on the pedals. It is without doubt the campest display of bike riding I have ever seen, well perhaps with the exception of Raoul trying to ride his rigid IF down a peak district boulder infested descent and deciding that the best course of action was to avoid it completely.
Truth is however, that I too have been guilty of a degree of mincing. It’s the result of trying to ride a road bike with slick tyres on snow and ice and realising that you have the same degree of control as an Elephant handler trying to manoeuvre his big-eared and tusked mammal across a tightrope. It’s difficult and you know it could go wrong at any time.
As a result last night I gave the Roadrat a wash and bedecked it with a set of cross tyres for the first time since taking ownership. The result is a rugged and good looking bike, which feels infinitely more stable, has traction and can go around corners, even if the extra mass is noticeable. Perhaps more importantly, I can ride again with confidence, although the fear of being taken out by a sliding car, bus or ice cream van (okay last one is unlikely) still keeps me on my toes.