Same ride, different weather.
Riding in all seasons.
Winter is the window of opportunity within which we can improve our summers!
This is the time of year when a certain type of publication is advocating getting in shape for the beach, smoothing the bikini line and preparing for life outdoors. The sun is out, the barbeque shops are working overtime and fake tans are being topped up for posing on the beach.
The cyclist is not at home in this frivolous world. It has been remarked within my earshot that cyclists are interested in nothing other than pain and suffering. That’s not true. We like bikes as well.
The truth is that the cyclist understands and disregards all this frivolity, fixing their mind on the goal of perennial fitness and the understanding that work now will reap dividends at a later date (could this be a simple economic rebalance as well?). This doesn’t mean that the seasons are unimportant to the cyclist. The winter should not be judged in degrees or millimetres of rain, but in KM consumed and hours completed building the base. The Classics Season (Spring to others) is the birthplace of inspiration, with heroic endeavours and some promise of less time spent dressing for rides. The other Classics Season (Autumn) inspires us for the work ahead and the satisfaction of defiance of hardship. The Grand Tour Season (summer) bridges the gap, with blooming fitness from the winter miles, late rides on balmy evenings, and the promise of British jerseys in big races.
The year of the cyclist is a constant, a given measure, riding must prevail in the face of everything. The cyclist taps into the eternal cycle and is at home in the saddle without fear of what the seasons bring. Pragmatic, optimistic, and persistent, in the knowledge that the reward for the work will be sudden and unexpected, as the rain and sun blend to bring forth fruit, so it is for the fitness of the cyclist.
There are no short cuts; the extra mile, the next hill, and the rainy day make the path that the cyclist must pedal. The destination is fitness. In the meantime, it’s sunny outside and I need to shave my legs and get some tan on them before Saturday’s ride…