Filling the void

The Tour is over! We are bereft! No more afternoon TV watching while we pretend to work. No more desperately avoiding social media until the evening highlights when we’ve missed the day’s action. No more bike rides planned around cake stops at cafés screening the race. What on earth are we supposed to do now?

Well, there’s always the Vuelta at the end of August. No, we know it’s not quite the same but it still attracts all the big boys. As we write, Chris Froome is weighing up whether to try and emulate Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault by going for a Tour/Vuelta double. Some of Froome’s competitors may feel they have something to prove after their Tour disappointments too.

And just think, once the Vuelta’s finished on 13 September, there will only be 10 months until the next Tour begins!

There’s always riding bikes too, of course. We doubt we’re alone in cutting short or postponing rides because the Tour was just too enticing. It’s a curious fact of cycling life that bike fitness often dips at this time of year, just when you think you ought to be peaking after all that off-season hard work. There are various reasons for this – the big summer expedition might now be behind you, the family holiday might have kept you off the bike – but another one might just be because you’ve been neglecting your cycling and choosing instead to sit in front of the telly to watch other riders turn themselves inside out for a few weeks.

And then there’s everything else, of course. The garden’s looking a bit neglected. The family probably needs reminding who you are and why you're skulking around the house looking so miserable. And you now have time to pursue all those non-cycling interests you have.

You do have some of them, right?