Slow day today... and while I was trying to figure out why -- after all, there was a race in France today -- I came up with the analogy for the cycling season. Not so much for the riders, whose season is kind of endless, but for those of us on the sidelines, the Cycling season resembles a normal workday.
Take today, for example. With Etoile de Besseges underway and a few races already behind us, the season is technically underway, in the same way that technically your day begins when your eyes open. But if you're like me, the first hour is an extended dream state, and you're pretty worthless until that first coffee or food or something... say, around Het Volk. From then on there's no question of going back to bed; your energy is ramping straight upward to that morning peak: the Tour of Flanders. Things go humming along for a while, right through one of the most beautiful moments of the day: lunch. By which, of course, I mean the Giro d'Italia.
After that, things slow down. In civilised places people have a nap; in the U.S., we mostly slog through, abusing caffeine and avoiding human contact as much as possible. Depending on your level of dedication, you can choose to get pretty excited about the Dauphine or Tour de Suisse, but mostly it's all about reloading for the biggest kick-out of the day: the Tour de France. [Actually, the population is split between morning/Classics people and afternoon/Le Tour types.] This takes us through the end of work, and the sudden freedom that comes with going home.
From there you can choose to keep going -- happy hour, say, or the Tour of Germany, but a lot of us would rather shut it down for a while, until dinner/la Vuelta. That leaves after dinner, which a minority will swear by, even if a lot of their compatriots have dropped off. Aside from La Vuelta, the Fall Classics and World Championships are totally worth staying up for, as long as you haven't really peaked in the mid-morning hour. After that, it's bedtime, to dream of what-ifs and hopeful possibilities next time around, which starts again in just a few hours.