Ragtime Cyclist column

Cyclists take advantage of the good weather.
Cyclists take advantage of the good weather.
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When it comes to dealing with the Lancashire weather, I’ve decided defiance is the name of the game.

After a good few weeks of summer sun, we seem to be stuck on a loop, in classic British style, where the weather is by no means dramatically bad but, to use the terminology of our friends in the Met Office, temperatures are below the seasonal average, unusually strong winds for the time of year are persisting, and another band of low pressure is coming in off the Atlantic.

And what does all this mean to us long-suffering Lancastrian cyclists? It means arm-warmers, knee-warmers, warm socks, thermal vests and, if things don’t improve, an inevitable lapse into full warm winter legs, long sleeved jackets, and overshoes.

Hence my current mood of defiance.

If I’m going to have to dig out all that autumnal kit which has been tucked away under the bed since May then I’m not going down without a fight; I plan to resist for as long as is sensibly possible.

Some of you out there might accuse me of being over-dramatic about all this; after all, the weather conditions are really not that bad, and are still more than acceptable for riding in - but it’s all about the context.

We’ve had a good summer: June and July offered settled summer sunshine and minimal rain, and allowed me to feel like a slick and swarthy Italian on the bike whilst cultivating impressively sharp tan-lines.

But all this was cruelly snatched away from us in August.

In my defiant mood during an after-work ride a few days ago, with the temperature dropping as low as 11 degrees C, I managed 30 glorious miles wearing bib-shorts and short sleeves.

Granted, I had arm-warmers tucked away in the jersey pocket just in case, and it’s true that I may have been wearing a thermal base-layer to keep the worst of the chills away, but importantly, all outward appearances suggested a cyclist out for a summer ride on a bright August evening.

Was I cold? Well, it was when I returned home and hit the sumptuous warmth of our kitchen that I realised that ‘yes’, I was definitely cold. But I’d made my point.

To whom? To the weather gods, I suppose.