Barely a couple of hours after I’d drafted this blog, and as if to prove a point, our regular Tuesday evening ride endured one of the wettest rides for a long time.
Every year’s the same, and yet it never gets any easier. This year it feels like a switch has been flicked, and after a mild October, the clocks going back have co-incided with plummeting temperatures. Winter is well and truly upon us.
This change of season is perhaps the most marked; no gentle warming of the days as winter gives way to spring and summer, no cooling as we leave another summer. More sudden, more definite, all seemingly exacerbated by the clocks losing those 60 minutes in late October.
But to embrace this change, is to put yourself on the path to enjoying it. Put the summer bike away (although make sure it’s ready to go if the chance to explore one of our oh so rare crisp, dry winter days arises), and make the most of that most underrated stable mate, the winter bike. It’s probably much heavier, and much less shiny than it’s summer loving equivalent, but only a fool judges a book by its cover.
My winter bike is the perfect example. The oldest bike I own, it’s gone through changes too numerous to list. It’s currently in ‘Touring’ mode, complete with incredibly heavy Shimano Alfine Hub. Fully loaded with two panniers, it weighs a ton.
The first couple of rides will almost certainly be awful, although this isn’t the fault of the bike. Instead this is a reflection of the failure on my part to adapt; to fail to take into account the extra weight that a winter bike brings. In no time at all the change comes. Instead of forcing things and spending too much time riding against the Garmin, it’s time to relax, change down a gear or two, and just enjoy the ride.
Winter may be unavoidable, but with the right bike (along with decent winter kit – but that’s a blog in its own right) we can keep the wheels turning, topping those base miles in the process. These will prove oh so valuable next year, when as Spring Classics will appear on the horizon, and we can start all over again…….
Vive la Velo