I’m beginning to appreciate November. So far – and admittedly we are only three days in – this one has been remarkably pleasant. Daytime temperature is up in the mid-teens, deciduous trees are still in the beautiful process of shedding their leaves and, apart from a bit of wind and the turning back of the clocks, there is little right now to distinguish conditions for cycling from those of a whole month ago. If anything, right now is warmer.
It can’t last, of course. Even the most optimistic amongst us knows that, before the month is out, cycling will have become a grim affair to be endured in the knowledge that December will be grimmer still and that matters will stay that way for at least another two months beyond.
Which is why November might just be the least agreeable month for riding a bike. The prospect of grey, grimy grimness stretching away into the future can be daunting and, unlike December, there is little to relieve it in the immediate future. Bonfire night? I think not, unless you like having the God of Thunder detonated nearby at five past midnight, just as you have nodded off.
On the other hand, of course, the forward-thinking cyclist might see things very differently. Here in early November it is still possible to believe in sticking to training plans, weight-loss regimes and the rest of the serious stuff that only really pays off at the start of the next season and to imagine that next year will be even better, faster and more satisfying than this one.
Time to get cracking – while the leaves are still glowing on the ground.