Beating the winter blues (aka the new bike cure all)
Still thinking about summer!
The summer of 2013 was oft hailed as the best summer since ‘76. July was hot, hot enough for there to be an overriding feeling of nervousness, a fear that this was too good to be true, would soon be over. Could the requirement to be riding in this meteorological paradise be maximised? Whilst the skill of cycling is balance, balancing riding against the prospect of having to live in any other part of life (other than between bars and saddle) was less tricky than it could have been. Summer is the social season & the season of BBQ - food is the natural habitat of the cyclist - a clever integration into the world outside of cycling.
This was a prelude to the summer holidays - inevitable fitness, fostered by sunny evenings and weekends!
The memory of this, the tan lines, the Strava KoM’s and well worn tyres, serve now to emphasize the coming of autumn. The vanguard of the new season is the flock of new viruses which march on our tired immune systems, which spell time off the bike. This is the all-consuming process to lay the cycling community low!
To bolster the validity of this as part of your life as a cyclist, remember that Sir Brad was unable to sustain the weather change at the Giro - this is what’s happening to you!
When laid low the health-conscious pedaling pilgrim should look for an appropriate apothecary to supply a suitable remedy. The non-cyclist will head to Google to find the symptoms, resultant (probably fatal) diagnosis, and the required cure, be it modern medical or quack remedy. This is not a cure for the cyclist.
The ailments of the cyclist are too complex to be understood by the man, woman, or doctor in the street. The finely balanced fitness pivots on the fulcrum between the highly tuned body and the vulnerability of the immune system.
The cure is in front of you, you just need to see it.
Of course, you need a new winter bike! There are two choices.
The modification of the summer steed that has seen you through the sunny roads, which carries the memories of dry rides and evening adventures.
A new winter bike.
Obviously the modification of the summer bike, which should really be retired, is a suitable swan song for a well loved companion. Financially this allows you to recover from summer holidays to exotic climes, and use the winter to save for the inevitable new summer bike.
However, winter brings Christmas and the associated excesses, a new bike is the ultimate motivator to keep the scales in check. A fully functioning winter bike - full mudguards, tough tyres and careful component selection - is a project to see you through winter, motivated, dry (ish) and ready for the (eventual) dawn of spring.
From the sofa of sickness this is the project that Le Sportif is undertaking… watch this space!