Essay: On the July Lag
(2018) Every year in late July, readership declines slightly on creakybottombracket.com. Though I cannot say for certain the reason, the marathon of the Tour de France could lead to cycling fatigue. Other reasons could be found in the dip in racing events. Instead of five races happening a weekend, there are only one or two. Being deep into summer the hot weather could deter people from getting out. Just last night I came undone on a ride due to the heat. While that could be no big deal considering it is summer, the fact that it was a trainer ride in the garage should lift an eyebrow. Too humid to ride in a garage? That’s a new one.
Meanwhile out-of-doors our area is paying back the debt on the nice spell of days last week. In one of those be-careful-what-you-wish-for instances, a week and a half ago I looked over the crispy grass of the backyard and stated how badly we need rain. Since Saturday it has been raining and near 100% humidity. The five-day forecast confirms it will be like this for the next five days. Every time the bike is prepped to get out, angry storm clouds take up position and provide a guessing game as to whether it will storm or not. Weather like this is simple to predict: If I go out and ride it will rain; if I stay home it will pass by.
But what about this July lag? For the next few weeks riders will continue to don their summer riding gear. It’s too early to start thinking about fall garments. We are just outside of the window of the last-gasp summer events before everyone heads back to school. If you’re not prepping for the Tour of the Catskills, you are probably heading out for maintenance training anyway, regardless of the heat and humidity. I suppose late July will always remain ‘Late July’.
In The Alchemist, a character attempts to reimburse a man for his kindness. The man in turn declines the payment citing, “[He has] enough money.” The character comes back with a warning, “Be careful what you wish for. The universe may be listening.” While another thundercloud passes overhead dumping the second round of rain today I’d like to go on record that I hope there is a tailwind going up Devil’s Kitchen in under two weeks’ time. Maybe the universe will listen to that.