Many people I know make the assumption that high summer is the best time of year to cycle. Surely, they say, it's so nice to be out in the sun at one with nature... blah blah blah.
Summer involves being covered in a film of stingingly salty sweat, eyes squinting as it rolls into your eyes, bugs flying into your mouth and down into your bra, tan lines that coincide exactly with the sleeves of your jersey and the length of your shorts. Summer is also the time of year when people who haven't cycled in years decide that now is the time to give it a go, weaving across lanes of traffic, stubbornly refusing to let you pass them, jumping lights and squeaking frantically up hills.
Now is the time when the bugs recede a bit and the fair-weather cyclists think twice about the cold bike or the cosy tube. Now is when you start out a bit chilly but warm to a comfortable glow without getting too hot. Now the air is clear and you can see the squirrels packing away their nuts for winter and the birds flying across the sky as they head for warmer climes.
Now is one of the best and my favourite time to be a cyclist.