Day Of The Lost Hour

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This evening signals absolute horror for a tired & struggling parent like Chris Froome, looking after a new baby & trying to hold down a job (equally relevant if you work in an office or your job involves trying to hang onto Quintana on a summit finish). The treacherous loss of yet another hour of sleep is going to happen overnight, and you are powerless to do anything about it. For others however, it will quite often herald the arrival of your summer cycling season, the rides after work will start, chaingangs continue in earnest, and you can consider the removal of those yellow lenses to counteract the SAD symptoms you’ve been gathering all winter.

Clocks go FORWARD 1 hour at 1am tonight (Sunday 27th March 2016), don’t forget to check your phone or alarm is set up for this, or you’ll be turning up for your club ride tomorrow when nobody else is there.

Long Evenings

Asides from the #StravaMentals who try to out-do each other all through the depths of winter, for those of us who just enjoy riding our bikes these days, the clocks going forward is a key point in the cycling season. For me, it’s when I realise I need to put my non-mudguarded bikes on the road, realising I’ve not cleaned them since the summer. So a little bit of work required, but this is nice work in the grand scheme of things.

Evening bike rides & mid-week cycling club activities starting to pick up are the big ‘tells’ that summer is nearly here, well, what we call ‘summer’ anyway. Non-freezing temperatures, a bit of sunshine that feels slightly warm on your skin, the 3 or 4 evenings when you’re genuinely comfortable wearing shorts on the bike & the arrival of midgies to ruin your BBQ or beer garden pint.

This is also the time that the bulk of newbie solo cyclists appear on the roads, it’s been happening very recently when there’s been a few days with some sunshine, with riders appearing in shorts when it’s barely scraping 5 degrees. From next week, we’ll be seeing more of this, the cycling bonanza is more evident that ever after the clocks change, it has the same effect we used to only see in July when the Tour appeared on the telly. So be nice to the new riders you see out, be friendly rather than gloating or blasting past them in a sea of testosterone, only to slow back up 100m up the road. With any luck you might get to chat to them & save their knees by giving a little friendly advice on avoiding injury.

Wave At Everybody

Now that you’ll be able to actually see riders in the evening, wave to everybody, especially new riders, no matter how inappropriate their dress for the conditions, we’re all cyclists & you were that rider one day. Part of the problem may be that ‘seasoned’ cyclists no longer wave to riders who don’t fit their idea of ‘cyclists’. You have no idea where they’re going to end up, so treat them with respect, instill a habit in everybody from their first outing. We all see solo riders who don’t wave back time & again, if enough people wave at them even the most socially inept time triallist newcomer with be compelled to start waving back, then they’ll start waving at others before they wave at them. You can start social cycling to spread like a disease.

Hour Record Attempt, when the clocks go back?

The clocks changing the other way would be an ideal opportunity for a publicity stunt when they change back again, you’ve plenty time to prepare too. You could schedule your Hour Record attempt from 1am to 2am, I’m pretty sure even I could break Brad’s 54.526km over a 2 hour period from 1am, back to 12am, then onto 2am. That’s just 27.263km (or just under 17mph to any old duffers still reading), technically you started at 1am & finished at 2am, but the stopwatch would read 2 hours, surely somebody must fancy having some fun with this?

Or do it tonight, you can just climb straight off the bike without having pedaled anywhere & an hour will have passed, kind of. That’s possibly the least painful & appealing way to make an Hour Record attempt.

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