Issue 140, July 2023, of Cyclist magazine is on sale now. Subscribe to Cyclist here or buy issue 140 at the Cyclist Shop
Finally, it feels like spring has, well… not so much sprung as limped exhausted and bruised over the line. About a month later than usual I’m considering stuffing my winter gear to the back of the wardrobe.
I say ‘considering’, as I just don’t trust the British climate. It might be trying to lull me into a false sense of security before yelling ‘Ha!’ and rolling backwards into winter again.
Cyclists, more than most, are attuned to the changes in the seasons. I can mark my calendar based on the thickness of gloves required for a comfortable commute to work. And while a degree or two of difference in temperature would mean nothing to most people, it will leave me wracked with indecision over whether to opt for bib shorts with kneewarmers or stick to bib tights.
Then there’s rain. Has it rained (the roads will be wet)? Will it rain (maybe I should carry a rain cape)? And that’s before we get to wind speed, wind direction, amount of daylight hours, pollen count, UV intensity… in fact, I struggle to think of another pastime so affected by the vagaries of the weather. Sailing, perhaps. Or mountaineering.
This is especially true for cyclists in Britain. Our weather might not be extreme, but we’ve just got so much of it. I imagine being a weather presenter in somewhere like Spain isn’t particularly arduous – it’s summer, it’s sunny; it will be sunny tomorrow and sunny the day after that – but in Britain a forecast of sunshine is presented with the weary caution that it could turn cold/wet/windy/foggy/snowy at any moment. It’s the lack of predictability that makes every ride an exercise in planning and risk-assessment akin to starting a small business.
If only there was somewhere we could go, some magical island we could escape to, where we could be certain of decent weather any time of year, and where it rained only rarely. Pristine roads, twisting climbs and spectacular views would be nice too.
Oh well, we can but dream.
Photo Patrik Lundin
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Pursuit of perfection: His 2022 Milan-San Remo victory may have come from an unhinged descent of the Poggio, but Slovenian racer Matej Mohorič insists that his every move is scientifically calculated and driven by ‘a desire to do everything in the best possible manner’
What goes around: Debate continues to rage about whether cyclists should – or even could – adapt their pedalling style to be more efficient. Cyclist examines the evidence and talks to the experts to find out more
Col du Glandon: It may often be an appetiser at the Tour but the Glandon serves up a feast
The handmade’s tale: Thirteen years ago a mother and son started making pedal straps in their family home; today they run a bike luggage business with distribution across the globe. Welcome to Restrap, proudly made in Yorkshire since 2010
The high roads: The Haute Route Davos is a three-day climbing sensation in the Swiss Alps that will leave you stunned at its spectacle, humbled at its steepness and wondering whether the pro rider life is for you after all
For all this and much more, pick up your copy of Cyclist issue 140, on sale now.
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