Another month, another night sleeping in a random field.
The closer to my chosen date (Tuesday night) it got, the lower the forecast dropped for overnight, bottoming out at -3ºC. I have camped in temps as cold as this once before, but it was in a tent, at a campsite – doing it in a random field after work was a bit different.
Being a mid-week BAM I left after dinner and got back before work the next day, which worked out well – it was too bloody cold to hang around much more than that!
Waking up in the middle of the night to see everything covered in frost is a new experience for me as is faffing around getting in and out of a bivvy bag in such a low temperature. I was only just warm enough all night, with my feet perpetually cold, I think the forecast was conservative.
I woke up a few times during the night and each time considered just getting up and going home, but stuck it out for final sleep cycle until about 05:30. I stuck around until just before sunrise, watching the sky change colour and the mist get revealed before packing up and heading home.
I was glad to have set off in all my layers because thanks to a temperature inversion, things got colder as I rolled down off the small hill I was on. I had expected the ride home to be around 0ºC, but my Garmin read consistently below -5ºC and dropped down to -7.5ºC for a while – so a little chilly, and definitely the coldest temp I've ridden in. I resorted to wrapping a windproof gilet over my right hand, on top of my glove, in an attempt to retain some feeling in at least my braking finger.
But that's the beauty of BAM for me so far – I've just gone out, despite the weather and known that, if needed, I will warm up/dry out when I get back. Rather than thinking it has to be a bigger deal and have the weather put me off.