Warm weather and dry roads; two prospects that, right now, have an almost heavenly sound to them. I got a taste yesterday morning, riding out of the ‘burbs under a clear blue sky straight into a stiff but balmy breeze. The gunmetal mirk creeping over Leith Hill soon blotted the sun from view and shortly after began to deposit a light drizzle, but it was enough to dispel, if only for an hour or so, the feeling that cold, wet winter will never end.
This morning’s ride was, of course, in conditions so different I might have been on another continent, with heavy, persistent and chilly rain doing what it does best – sapping the will to pedal. It’s not the discomfort – modern clothing sees to that – but the general sensation of slowness brought on by cold muscles, cold air down the lungs, horrible cold tyres, cold water puddling on the road and zipping off the tyres and the rest of the off-season’s miseries.
But it will be gone soon, in maybe six short weeks. We’ll be thinking, at least, of riding in shorts, of going out for a decent ride and not having to clean the bike afterwards, of the improvement in performance that comes as the mercury slowly rises, of sitting outside a cafe and basking in the sunshine… That’s what I keep in mind right now, when winter just seems to have been going on a bit too long even for someone who, until recently, revelled in the conditions.