I was really looking forward to my last event of the year, the "Tour de Helvellyn". Reccied the bits of the course I didn't already know, waymarks in the GPS just in case, bag packed and up at 5am, leaving a generous two and a half hours to cover the 140 miles to Askam, register, and start at what I guessed would be first light at around eight. The forecast was for a cold but clear day and the race organiser said on Friday night that it was looking good for the event. There was an inch or so of snow on the car as I left the house but once out of the village the roads seemed fine apart from a seemingly unnecessary 50mph limit on the M56.
At 7am I was in the vicinity of Wigan, barely 40 miles of the journey done, sitting on the northbound M6 which had become a carpark. There were stationary trucks everywhere. I found a radio station which told the story, the road had been blocked since midnight because of a fair bit more snow than expected and a jacknifed truck. Eventually we got going again but it was 20mph stuff with the road congested and constricted. I had no chance of making the final start time of 9am, let alone my chosen one of 8. I reluctantly bailed out at the next junction and drove slowly home, to spend the rest of the day hanging doors in the kitchen.
The race was a great success, 50 starters, 37 finishers, a fine day out by all accounts.
The following day I made my weekly trip over the Pennines to visit my mum in Sheffield; there was barely a scrape of snow on the road the whole way. That's life.
But the year wasn't all bad, review in a few days.