Falling Leaves and time for mud?

Its that time of year again…once my birthday is out that way i feel like it time to say goodbye to summer as only a few short weeks separate it from the Autumnal equinox on 23rd September.

In cycling terms this means its time to start thinking about the winter bike, if you are lucky enough to have one, and tucking the best bike up for hibernation.

Its time for the obligatory mud guards, unless like me you eschew them and accept being lambasted by your group or using it as an excuse to ride on the back, which is obviously not my reasoning, honest ;). Its time to get the extra front and rear lights ready and charged, if you are commuting for normal office hours, its not just needed “to get you home” they are on before you leave.

The traditional lines for racing are now very blurred, when i soley rode road races i’d still be swinging into September and October in race mode, in fact my palmares has the one solitary, very lonely win on it from September and on my birthday no less. The Kent Road race league (SERRL of a previous incarnation) had a “race of the falling leaves” and given the circuit round some lovely kent backroads it usually was covered in leaves. In those days i was vaguely aware of time trials, mainly that they took place, my home club “San Fairy Ann CC” had a strong contingent of very good testers.

While the cross season already seems to have been going for a few months the road season, or at least the professional road season, is winding down to its final races.

The final monument of the season takes in the beautiful northern lakes of Italy is often seen as the end of the season and is the pinnacle of a week of Italian races.

The autumnal weather can be cruel or kind, my previous visit to Lombardia ended with some very damp clothes as I stood on the final climb in the pouring rain. This year was the antithesis of that, warm sunshine and blue skies

The Peloton winding up the corners of the Collle Gallo

The racing action matched the weather with some Grand Tour winners duking it out for the win

Egan Bernal followed by Valverde and Roglic

Having seen the pros do it Sunday was my chance to finally ride some of those famous climbs, the temperatures were a bit colder but I did set off at 7:30

Muro Di Sormano “bastard steep”

While it was probably one of the hardest roads I’ve climbs, simple for the fact I had to grind out my lowest gear the whole way up, the view was worth it.

With that done it’s time to break out the winter kit, clean the race bike and make sure my Zwift Memhership is paid up!

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