Winter comes in two halves.
November and December are the months of decline. Clinging to late season form seems plausible for a while, and the winter bike is still a novelty rather than a millstone. But then Christmas intervenes, and daylight is no more than a tiny window.
I emerge, blinking in January, sluggish.
I’m on top of each gear, with cogs in hand on the climbs, and the 25 stays clean. No longer urging the gradient to ease, but daring it to ramp up.
Where three weeks ago it was an effort to leave the house and turn the pedals it becomes an effort not to. The more I pedal the more energy I have. I lose kilos, and change shape, and if I’m lucky cheekbones start to appear.
When the good bike is wheeled out in March, twitchy like a sports car, the ante will be upped again.
It’ll be time to make hay.