Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Plummet into fall

Last couple weeks have certainly snuffed out the hot summer days pretty effectively, not that I expect to see them gone for the year, did get us well into September.

I love and loathe this time of year. Love comes from the cooler temps and general climate and attitude changes in the world around as the hot summer days shift gears into the back to school mentality. Vacations are done and everyone seems to be "back".

Can be such a great time to ride too. Don't have to worry about becoming a sweat soaked mass of stink from a simple ride.

It is also the beginning of cyclocross season, which in itself is more than ample reason to celebrate, but that should be a separate post perhaps.

The slide into fall also brings an underlying sense of anxiety to me as the days suddenly seem to be getting seriously shorter. I know it is anything but sudden, but each year there always seems to be that point at which I suddenly find myself stuck out in the darkening skies, pumping hard to get home before pitch blackness. It is only a minute or two a day, but it just seems like one week the evenings are still cruising pretty late, then the next I am looking out and saying "where'd the daylight go?". It doesn't truly sneak up on me, I see it coming, but there is always that one ride where I look around and say damn, summer's done.

And that is the basis of the anxiety. Summer is all good. Warm, beaches, bikinis, suntans, riding as late as you care to... And then there is fall, all nice and pleasant except it is like a greek tragedy in which the handshake masks the icy dagger of winter creeping up behind you.

Now, it isn't that Texas winters are so bad, but I do get tired of riding in the dark more often than not.

Those really into training gut it out and ride their trainers or rollers.

Been there, done that. It works but is like a torture. Not what the bike is meant for.
I decide one winter that if I needed to ride then by God, I would ride my bloody bike outside, on the road, where it was meant to be ridden. This has resulted in some frosty experiences in my previous residences, but I almost always felt better for it.

Anyhow...enough on winter, it is close enough, no need to harp on it anymore.

Fall is a great season to enjoy as the road racing season winds down and the MTB and CX seasons kick in, if you are into that.
If you are simply into the joy of riding a bike it is perhaps the best season, or at least neck and neck with spring, in my humble opinion.

I look forward to a little more urban exploration during this period personally. Been in the road race training rut, concentrating on time spent at certain levels of pain and suffering, all the while missing some of the good stuff along the side of the road on the way.

Today sent the message, fall is here. Sure it won't be like this, 60s, maybe 70F for most of the day, but we are going to see more days like that and less of the damnitshot days.

And thankfully the epic rains have passed on after a week+ long slog. And we are still in a drought...


  1. I've really been enjoying the weather lately; the slip into fall means that it's dark when I leave for work, which means at some point along the route I can stop and take a nice pic of a beautiful sunrise, like this morning's.

  2. Oh yeah, I am with you on that. A good sunrise usually makes up for getting up in the darkness.
    Nice shot. You have me convinced I need to carry a camera once in a while at least!