Sit right down my wicked son and let me tell you a story…

My first ride of 2011 was another adventure through the snow and ice of Central Poland. It was a beautiful, crisp morning with a solar eclipse to see me off. Compared to last week’s ride in -8 Celsius, today’s -3 was positively balmy…

wioska - ice ride
wioska - ice ride

The roads are suffering from a couple of months of a snow, thaw, freeze cycle that just builds up layer upon layer of ice. Imagine this in the UK? People would be writing to their MP.

wioska - ice ride

There seem to be plenty of marked cycle routes in the area. I just need to find a map showing where they go…

wioska - ice ride

Time to get off and walk…

wioska - ice ride

Most of the pictures that have been taken for this blog and a few I’ve had published in magazines have been taken with my Panasonic Lumix FX-35. I knew carrying it in my hip pocket was a bad a idea and sure enough, when I came off on the ice a few miles into the ride, I landed full on it. The case and screen are scratched and the Crumpler case has yet more battle scars, but the camera still seems to work. In fact, all of the picture in this post (apart from the last one obviously) were taken after I dropped 85 kilos onto it.
The route on

Snow Ride

I blew away a few cobwebs earlier with a ride out from Kępno.
It had been snowing before I set off and so the layers of black ice that covered the roads were masked with a fresh covering making staying upright and moving forward at the same time quite a challenge. The further I got from town, the less traffic had compacted the last months’ worth of snow and the easier it became.
Kępno snow ride
Air temperature was -8 Celsius (17F) that meant my breath froze onto my beard in lumps.
Kępno snow ride
After 12km or so I headed into the forests. Logging work continues whatever the weather and so the tracks through the woods were passable. 
Kępno snow ride 
The route is here if you’re at all interested.
Kępno snow ride
Critical Mass in Wrocław on Friday, followed by a party in the Rynek (one of the most beautiful squares in Europe) and then on to the Czech Republic on Saturday for a couple of days of budget skiing…

snow, light, trees and commuting

the snow finally came. so it only came for a couple of hours, but it dumped a crisp and even two inches across the shire. since then, temperatures have been pretty consistently sub-zero and so the snow is hanging around.
yesterday i had fun in the snow both on the way to work and the way back.
today, a sharp bit on the valve hole on my front rim ate its way through the inner tube at the base of the valve and i had a walk for a mile before being rescued.

after being lent a tube by mike, i headed home and exactly the same thing happened again. the only difference? this time i had to walk 3 miles before my rescuer arrived.

time for half an hour on the turbo…

in the meantime, here are some pictures from the rides i did manage to complete on my way to and from work.
snow tree
same again
as usual, click to go to the flickr page and use the ‘all sizes’ button there to see it bigger
snow commute light paint
light paint
three of these pictures contain my first three attempts at light painting. it is a technique that seems to be everyuwhere at the moment and is a fun thing to. it is a bit more hands on than hdr, tilt-shift miniatures and the other photographic phases that seem to have come and gone