Despite the Tour's engrossing nature this year and my complete delight in bawling at the telly in support of a Brit rider in mountain stages and summit finishes (something I hadn't done since I was a teenager watching Robert Millar), lurking beneath the surface is the thought of knobbly tires and transitions from bike to foot and back to bike.......
May be it is the unrelenting rain that has softened the ground everywhere, maybe a success in what was the bunfight of gaining 3 Peaks cyclocross entry, maybe this great photo from Janol Apin and his P'tits Velos series.
A recent session (re)sealing tub walls with Seam Grip brought home the impending arrival of all things close to my muddy heart. Gluing follows next, in that now yearly ritual that threatens the waistline with the inevitable Belgian brews that are an indispensable part of the process.
Yep, it is only 7 weeks to the first race on the NW calendar so crossistas, dust off your wheels and get out on those trails. My local offroad circuits are a little overgrown with the verdant growth of June and July but it won't be long before they are back into shape and ready for some good tempo and technique sessions. Practice those technique drills - if you are anything like me, being a natural allround athlete of poise and ability doesn't necessarily come with my genetic make-up and the specific cross techniques of on and off need to be hard-wired into my reluctant physique.