'UK hit by severe floods' greeted me this morning when I opened my newsreader app. It was with a sad feeling that I realised the lovely autumn cycling days were finally over. When we woke up yesterday morning, the first sight was houses with frosty white roofs. The road glittered in the early morning light and it didn't look particularly like a good cycling day. Winter days leaves me wary of skidding on the ice and the possibility of broken bones, so I usually play it safe and stay put unless the day brightens up. I don't mind the cold, but I do mind getting hurt.
We recently went for two weeks to South Africa. Needless to say that the weather was superb. We had on average 24C as the day temperature and the nights were lovely and warm. I didn't see many cyclists though.
The ones I did see created a stir. We found a group of cyclists on the N2 (national road from Cape Town going east) and it seemed that they were on a cycling tour. In South Africa, you are allowed to move into the emergency lane when you are the slower car to allow others to overtake safely, so I was very worried about this group who were cycling in the emergency lane on a national road.
The second interesting pair I saw was on our way back to Cape Town, when we stopped in Swellendam. A couple of touring cyclists was travelling through the town, packed to the hilt with kit and panniers. I've never seen touring cyclists in South Africa, not like the regulars you would find in Europe.
The third place where we saw quite a lot of cyclists was along the promenade in Strand. Strand is a very popular seaside town with high-rise condos and apartments. There were many cyclists. Some recreational and others on a fitness mission with road bikes.
Reflecting on my days when I was still living in SA, I cycled regularly as a child in the town where we lived; home to town and visiting friends. My cycling stopped abruptly when I went to university and only picked up again when we moved to the UK.
So winter is here. Last year Christmas I got a turbo trainer for Christmas which will now be used more frequently until we are back to brighter days.