There are ducklings and baby coots almost everywhere you look at the moment. It’s been a good year for them.
The sweet cool breeze that dissipates the sun’s mild heat is a reminder that warmer days are coming. The sun will intensify until a morning ride will illicit twice the amount of sweat for the same amount of effort. As I make my way along the beautiful riverside bikeway, I begin to appreciate the headwinds for their cooling effect. I welcome the sound of the wind roaring past, whistling through the straps of my helmet.
It is time to hang my softshell in the closet for another year. If there is any rain in between now and next June I will rejoice in it, not cover my skin with water-repellent clothing. It is time to rummage through my drawers to unearth my lightweight, trendy Coolmax garments, whilst stocking up on sunscreen. Maybe this year I’ll even invest in one of those insulated water bottles, so that I can squirt some water into my mouth on a long ride without receiving third degree burns.
I will plan rides taking into account exposure to hot roads and walls, perhaps avoiding the freeway bike path for a month or two. I learned this lesson the hard way a few summers ago, being caught out in the middle of kilometres of black tar with the air temperature sitting on 40 degrees Celsius. The only other riders I saw that day were cowering in underpass tunnels, or making their way to the nearest train station for a ride home in air conditioned comfort. Being the stubborn type I struggled out to the coast and went for a much needed swim to cool off, then used the train as my sag wagon for the trip home.
Whilst I am not looking forward to the inevitable run of 40 degree days, I will enjoy the here and now. I know that in a few short months I will be baking cookies for the dogs on the dashboard of my car.