It’s that day of the year again where everything seems to start to turn. The summer holiday is behind us again this year and the nights are getting longer. But why today? It’s the last day of the 2010 Tour de France. It seems to take this increasingly familiar pattern each year since I refound a love of cycling. The season starts with old favourites but now with the global spread of the sport new exotic races which start earlier and earlier each year. Then the spring classics which I’m sure were earlier when I was younger but maybe its the more clement weather that is foxing my memories (Yet another outcome of climate change?!). And then we’re into May. Summer is building up, you can feel it around the corner. We are at full tilt on the allotment and Mrs AB is usually enquiring about a bit of time away. June arrives, summer is well and truly here. Just around the corner is the goal of the entire year for a cycling fan.
So it is that each year very little gets planned in for July. We can’t be on holiday from the first weekend until the 4th weekend of the month. Rendezvous with friends and family have to planned around key stages and/or the availability of Eurosport. Mrs AB rarely sees me at her bedtime for almost a month as I sit glued to the 9.30 highlights on Eurosport having a long time ago given up on Phil & Paul and switching my allegiances to Dave & Sean (if you don’t understand, try it and you’ll find the coverage much easier to handle!). Life is in suspended animation save for a bit of training.
But here we are again, the 4th weekend in July and it feels like the year has turned. The Tour is almost over save for the soon to be expected battle of the sprinters on an avenue in Paris that will forever be Manx(?), the main battles done. The cycling season seems to go into shut down for me. Yes there is the Vuelta Espana but it’s not been the race it was for years. The Tour of Britain offers some local interest but it’s simply not the same as it used to be as either the Milk Race (which incidentally was in May/June) or the Kellogg’s Tour (complete with Tony the Tiger, Jimmy Saville and “Hairy” Richard Keyes). Maybe the Newport Nocturne will be on, that’s a glimmer of hope but equally it’s so autumnal. No, summer feels like it’s about to end. I feel like this each year.
What I suppose I’m getting at is the onset of some sort of Cyclist’s SADS that mutates with my own psyche, and also a reflection on holding onto too big a dream. Yes the Tour is over for another year but why should that matter? What I need is to put it into perspective and find another focus. Can anybody give me something to lift August and September?