The sun is still holding on, but a new chill in the morning air suggests that autumn is not far away.
For those who have enjoyed a busy summer of riding: racing, sportives and long days out with friends, the change of the seasons may come with a strange mixture of emotions.
If you’ve been hammering out the miles since spring, here are a few signs it might be time to take a break….
Your washing machine keeps vomming up gel wrappers and safety pins
It’d be nice if assorted ride and race paraphernalia would just dissolve in the wash, but the reality is that you’ll find it all accumulated in the lip of the machine – at best (worst would be when your machine stops working).
You’re experiencing a strange, hangover like feeling…
… as soon as you stop and take a break for more than one day.
That’ll be your body adjusting to the sudden drop off in adrenaline. It’s usually fixed with several days of extreme laziness, and cake.
Sportive medal/race number/club trophy collection has grown unmanageable
You’re not actually sure how many there are now, but they definitely deserve pride of place – even if that means removing a few of the crayon drawings your child, niece or nephew proudly presented you with last month.
You’ve lost count of minor ailments – for the bike and yourself
The shifting works if you hold the lever for a couple of extra seconds, wheels are true enough as long as you let the back brake off a bit, and that knee pain will go away with a little rest once winter arrives.
Your kit bag is like a black hole for arm warmers, gloves and ‘just in case’ extra layers
Everything in that bag has its place. It’s just that by this point in the summer, you’re not sure exactly where that place is.
Members of your family have discovered new hobbies
Now you’re starting to slow down for the autumn, you’ve realised you’re not the only one out the house for 80 per cent of the weekend.
Great news if the new hobby involves sweet treats for all the family, less so if it is accompanied by purchase of eight new car tyres and the most part of a new GT86 engine…
Colleagues have stopped asking what you did over the weekend
Of course, you still tell them anyway.
Any sounds akin to gear shifting make you jumpy
The crunch of a gear shifter has been followed by a flurry of attacks so many times this summer, the very suggestion sends the hairs on your neck upright.
See also: the sound of a bell, which for racers, sees them aim to “move up” with immediate precision, less than ideal for anyone living close to a church or school ground.
Friends outside of cycling have forgotten what you look like
Wait, you’ve got friends who aren’t on the Saturday morning bun run?