Three hours in the Surrey hills on a soggy Tuesday morning which could only be described as dreich. Only the Scots (amongst whom I count myself) could come up with one word to describe such miserable weather. The Inuit apparently have numerous words for snow but us Scots seem to have done the opposite and coined one word to beautifully summarise an all too frequent state of the weather both north and south of the border.
The Urban Dictionary sums it up quite succintly:
Dreich (adj) A combination of dull, overcast, drizzly, cold, misty and miserable weather. At least four of the above adjectives must apply before the weather is truly dreich.
Anyway, I digress from my story. On a good day, I rate the meandering and undulalating lanes of the Surrey Hills equal to the strada biancha of Chianti or rolling vineyards of Provence, but this wasn’t a good day. On a dreich January morning, this cyclists’ playground was more like a mudbath. It seemed that every farmer within 10 miles had felt the urge to transfer as much mud from his fields with tractor as possible. The swooping descent into Peaslake was rendered a lethal mudslide and the climb out of Shere offered little traction to my back tyre. As many winter rides in England the highlight was returning home to a hot shower and my personal post-ride refuel, a big bowl of warming tomato soup. Roll on Summer!