It’s that time of year again ’round these parts. Yes, it’s getting cooler out there. Today’s high temp is topping out at about 68 degrees (F). For me, that means breaking out the cool weather gear for the first time since early May. No full length gloves or shoe covers today, but no sunscreen needed. It’s a nice mix of clouds and sun and I will be resplendent in my long sleeve jersey and long shorts (can’t I just call those pants with a chamois?).
Even though pretty much all the leaves are still green, you can tell things are turning. The odd crunch of a leaf under my wheels, the lower sun and no sweat dripping off of my elbows. It’s also an interesting sensation when near the end of the ride, as I race against a setting sun, that I feel my breath steaming the stubble on my chin. Not the most evocative image of cycling, but it’s one of those things I only experience in cooler weather.
I suppose that part of the charm for me is that it is a short riding season. In the spring, I emerge from the tyranny of the trainer to ride in the ever-warming days of April and May. On this end of the calendar, the cool temp season usually goes from mid-September to into November. Last year I think I got an outdoor ride in on the 5th – coincidentally, Mrs. Stallion’s birthday.
All too soon it will be trainer time. I don’t dread it like I used to, but ain’t nothing like riding the road. Besides, I’m not “HTFU” enough to want to ride outside in the winter here. As a coworker of mine states, it gets “Butt-clenching cold” – something that gets exacerbated by successful cycling; I now have less natural insulation.
But I don’t want to cast my gaze that far yet. I’m really looking forward to riding past brightly colored foliage, smelling the wood burning from people’s fireplaces, getting a ride in before a Giants game, cruising past suckers working in their yards and feeling my breath on my chin. All Hail the Fall!