One thing you develop as a cyclists is a reasonably keen interest in the weather. There's no climate control button on the handlebars that will keep you at a constant 21 degrees, and of course there's no protection from any of the elements. Or insects. Birds. And dogs.
A few short months ago, I was complaining about the heat. Now, I'm worrying about how cold it will be tomorrow morning, and looking forward to when it starts warming up again. We're never satisfied. It's almost always too hot, too cold, too windy, too wet or too dry.
We've managed to get out of town for a few weekends so far this year, travelling down beyond where the Gongoloids live. Or the Gongolians. Either term fits (that's how I describe the denizens of Wollongong and its environs). On our first visit, I packed the bike and went for an early morning ride around the local area of the beachside town that we were staying in. Bloody hell - I almost died of heart failure on the umpteenth hill. I have never been so knackered and ready to quit on a ride. Ever.
I can do big hills, and I can do a fair few hills, but I can't do lots of big hills with very little spacing between them where you can recover. It was like riding a rollercoaster. I met a few middle aged blokes cycling the other way - they looked as drained and haggard as I. I wonder if they were also asking themselves why on earth they were suffering so on a beautiful Saturday morning.
I missed that Saturday afternoon as I got home, showered and promptly slept for 5 hours.
We have since been back again. For various reasons (cowardice not included), the bike stayed at home. However, we did a family outing and I had the opportunity to drive the same route that I had previously cycled.
Our car, and lots of other cars, struggled to make it up the hills that almost killed me - they were deceptively steep and horribly long. It was no wonder I'd suffered so much.
Next time, I'll have a look at a map before heading out, and take note of the topography.