Whether it's the most eagerly awaited public holiday of the year is another topic for debate but the Christmas period for cyclists is a mixed blessing.
Like all public holidays the same amount of work is compacted into fewer days leaving us having to write off a day in order to catch up on sleep. Traditionally a time for family get togethers, of giving, receiving, of sharing and an excuse for overindulgence Christmas is a strange bedfellow.
Thanks to the changes in the jet stream the only snow we now see at this time is found on greetings cards. You can safely say that, at least in the UK, Christmas Day will be mild, damp affair with a flat greyness to it. A perfect climate to try out all your new cycling related presents but shouldn't you be at hand to help with reading user manuals, topping up sherry glasses and making sure the children's new toys have there batteries fitted correctly - what do you?
The irony of it all lies, in part, in the temptation to over do things on the food & drink front. With every combination on the menu from gastro finger food to the traditional three bird roast it's difficult to retain any restraint. The same goes with alcohol consumption. The time you've spent finding the lightest frame/saddle/groupset/handlebars etc. those precious gram saving present ideas all go to waste as you pile the pounds on. Any benefits now lie in ruins.
Our perspective is that you have to earn your freedom to cycle, create an environment where Aunt Vi enquires why you haven't been out for a ride yet. Be a martyr, be seen to abstain, refuse that extra mince pie, sausage roll and can of beer - publicly be seen to suffer for your cycling.
At the end of the day it's all down to the individual as to how your Christmas pans out with your cycling. You're the one that needs to find the right balance between family and self at this time but from all at Simpson magazine we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy healthy 2017.