Last week, my friend and I took on a 50km hack through Sherwood Forest on our mountain bikes. It was super fun but really, really cold.

Usually on a long ride I will shed the arm and leg warmers after half hour. Sunday was different, other than a sunny half mile of singletrack as we arrived in the village of Walesby, it was bitterly cold.

The temperature made for a tough ride. We struggled to keep our muscles warm and this dramatically increased the fatigue. 50km is par for us at the weekend, and often we push on past 65km off road. But I can’t remember ever being so exhausted – even when we double up on the red and blue routes at Sherwood Pines (including the windy ride in and back from Mansfield). I’d even been riding in the week, so short-term fitness shouldn’t have been an issue.

Like a windy day, a cold day means for a tougher workout. But I wonder if exercising in the cold actually makes you fitter? Probably not, I assume the cold weather means that wear and tear is increased.

Anyway, I faced another sort of temperature-based danger today. As I powered up one of the hills on my commute home, I could feel the back wheel slip in a fresh sheen of ice forming on the tarmac. Tonight will be an icy on, be careful out there tomorrow.