Yesterday I said I’d write a little blog about Ice Fever, which has gripped the country since the cold snap started in the first part of the week. By the middle of the week canals were starting to freeze, and everyone started talking about whether the Elfstedentocht might be possible this year. This is a 200km race between 11 towns in the province of Friesland (to the West of where I live), but it can only happen if the ice is 15cm thick for the whole route.
On Wednesday, they didn’t think it would happen, but now it’s predicted that the ice will be thick enough by this time next week! In the meantime, people are already heading out on frozen lakes, canals and ponds. Two people have died but that doesn’t seem to be holding anyone back. When I went out for a walk today, I saw people skating on the ponds in the parks, but no-one out on the canals. We had 5cm of snow on Friday and it’s hiding weak spots in the ice making it more dangerous. Everyone is getting their skates sharpened, and heading off for favourite spots. I haven’t skated since I was a teenager, but I really want to give it a go! People were having so much fun at the park today.
It’s been bitterly cold here, with temperatures below -20 in places. The daytime temperature hasn’t been above 0 since this time last week at least, and it’s set to continue well into next week. My bike is still unusable but I am getting fed up of not having it, so after failing to re-inflate the tyres twice (I think the valve is bust, which is why they are flat) I’m going to push it to work on Monday and take it to get overhauled. I think I need new tyres and inner tubes, but it shouldn’t be too expensive, I hope. Perhaps the guys at the shop can sort the valves out instead; they work cheap miracles there & have rescued my bike twice before
I really enjoyed my expedition today, it was good to get out and stomp about. I went to the city centre and the park to look around and enjoy myself, not just a utilitarian trip to buy food or visit someone, and it was good. I should do it more often. I even saw some intrepid folk running where the pavements / roads were clear and not slippery. I might have run out of excuses … I only have 3 weeks before Matt comes out (yay!) but I had a goal in mind for weight and fitness and it’s slipping away from me, assisted by warming winter foods and an addiction to cappuccino.