Midsummer Days

I’m not a great fan of summer and certainly not of midsummer.  Perhaps we’re just too spoiled in the southern hemisphere and have too many days of sunshine (well usually, earlier posts will attest to the unusually high number of rainy days this summer) but I much prefer the glorious autumn days of April and May and even most winter days.  From a bike riding point of view, unless you’re in the Western Cape, winter provides the best riding weather provided you do most of it between 09h30 and 15h30.

Midsummer days are for hiding away in cool places or under shady trees.

DSCF1770 rs

I rode down to Pietermaritzburg yesterday on what was the second hottest day of summer (today was the hottest).  The ride was particularly good on the way back with hardly any traffic about (I think everyone was hiding in cool places) but by the time I got home, even the excellent ventilation on my Shoei X Spirit II helmet had been defeated and the padding was completely soggy.  I was hoping to avoid stripping the helmet and washing the padding for at least a few seasons but there’s no avoiding it now.

All of this got me thinking again about weather and climate change.  I have no doubt that climate change is real and that its current cause is anthropogenic.  And so, I’m feeling a little smug that on the first two tanks of petrol I have recorded consumption figures of 3.97 and 3.95 litres/100km compared to the 8 litres/100km average that I get with my Polo.  The smugness has to be tempered by the fact that producing the bike involves a carbon footprint (I have no idea what it is, but I would guess about an 1/6 – 1/8 of a car) which has to be offset in any calculations too.

Mo (my Duke) has moved into the house for the time being as he has succumbed to the KTM problem of instrument cluster condensation.  Until I can sort out the bike room in terms of ventilation and temperature/humidity control I’ll just have to live with variously the amusement, derision and incredulity of visitors.


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