Friday, August 28, 2015
August is a warning
July is the definition of summer. The nights are warm and the days are hot. Sunshine starts early and stays late. The last of the green grass dries and the hills turn golden. Long pants and long sleeves only come out for work. The trails are dusty and my post ride laundry pile is about the size of a grapefruit. I keep track of where the sunscreen is.
For dedicated cyclists we get to drink in the Tour de France while typically enjoying the fitness gained by our winter and spring riding. We fly up hills that were a slog in March. We pick up STRAVA PR’s without trying. “What do I wear for my ride?” is a question of style instead of dressing to minimize discomfort.
August takes the baton from July and for a few days there is no change. Then all at once you realize things are happening. People start talking about Football. If you cycle then you know August is a time of panic. For those who race cyclocross those races start in September. On plan or not, your training increases in intensity in August. For those who don’t ride in winter the “Now or Never” panic sets in. Early risers note the sun is sleeping in later this time of year. At higher elevations the longer nights result in cooler morning temperatures. Where is my long sleeve shirt?
Summer is far from over but it no longer feels like it will last forever. The summer bucket list gets prioritized as you concede that you won’t be able to do it all. When you come across your winter riding jacket you almost look forward to some rain. Soon the mud will be flying the sweet smell of embrocation will be part of the pre-ride ritual. Times they are a changing.
Kids aren’t immune from the panic and are either anxious or dreading a return to the classroom.
Once we become reconciled with the thought of summer coming to an end we cannot help but look forward. The leaves will turn bright colors and the air will be crisp. The trails will get tacky and fast. Cyclocross gets going in a big way and with it the unique bond shared by all those who battle in the mud. We no longer have to endure the latest “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” chapter in the season long slaughter being endured by the hapless 2015 Seattle Mariners and their broken-hearted fans.
The Methow cools down.
The fires will burn out.
Hottie will heal up and get to ride again.
Snow will fall and we will play.
I don’t know who was on the committee that decided we would have seasons but I appreciate the thought they put into it.