As Cyclists, we are uniquely subjected to the changing of seasons. The green canopy of forest that we ride through in Summer gives way in Fall to one of orange and yellow that mimics the fire of sunset. Just as those hues give notice to the changing from day to night, so do they now signal the change from Summer to Winter.
It is also a time of transition in our riding. The rides are first wetter, then cooler. Soon, we’ll be rooting about the kit bin for gloves and a wooly hat. Shorts become three-quarters and three-quarters become fulls. There might be a shadow of trepidation in bidding the warm months adieu, but there lurks some excitement, too. Wearing long sleeve jerseys and leg warmers signals to us that the fight for peak form is behind us and our rides now have a sense of insouciance about them; it is freeing to embrace the lack of structure to our rides. We ride, once again, simply for the pleasure of riding.
There is something else. The longer days of Summer almost afford us too much liberty in our training. The sun rises early and sets late; the possibilities to train are endless; the morning ride is skipped for the likelihood of riding in the afternoon. The afternoon schedule fills up and the ride is missed and the training takes on a more frenetic nature. The shorter days of the winter offer less choices, so the rides are fought for more vigorously. Choice can lead to indecision while restriction often feeds discipline.
I embrace the coming Winter and its accompanying discipline. Besides, after the Winter come the Spring Classics, and we loves ourselves some cobbles. Vive la Vie Velominatus.