Shorts in November?

DA rocks the racer with mudguards look

Traditionally, November is the month when the weather really turns nasty and signals the beginning of the long, miserable British winter, laid out in front of us like the inevitable soul destroying season that it is.

Sometimes I feel solitary confinement would be less horrific than attempting to ride a bicycle in torrential rain, freezing wind and sub zero temperatures, but I’m still reluctantly plugging away through the winter months in the dark because we all know that to stop cycling now will not go unnoticed in the legs when the spring rolls around again.

But, as I type this, there’s blue sky over the RCUK office, I’m sitting in a short sleeve t-shirt and all the windows in the office are open. Yup, it’s a practically summery 17 degrees.

Warm enough for shorts, even.

I recently received a tin of Rapha’s new Embrocation, so forgoing the knee warmers I slathered on a thin layer of the sharp smelling cream (it’s more of a paste, really) onto my legs, ignored the comments as I walked through the office and went for a ride during my lunch break yesterday.

And it was fine. It was a lovely dry day with just a light wind, the trees around Regent’s Park showing a full palette of autumn hues, deep browns and vivid reds. No need for gloves even with just the merest hint of coldness in the air.

It felt good to be out making the most of this, the last gasp of mild weather, enjoying what could be one of the last rides of the year to be unencumbered by deep winter tights and big jackets and the other necessary paraphernalia that goes with winter cycling.

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