20 April 2009

Heating, uniforms and the return of...

In many countries of Eastern Europe, the 'central' in central heating means central government: heating comes on at a certain date late in the year (when cold weather is expected to kick in) and is turned off when Spring arrives. I once spent a few days in Skopje in early March (OK, it was 10 years ago) and because it was unusually warm at 16c, I had to sleep with the windows open to counter the effect of a huge radiator in full blast.

In Lima (Peru) the Police used to have a very rigid distinction between 'winter' uniform (a green jacket over a khaki shirt) and 'summer' uniform (just the shirt, no jacket). The changeover took place at a certain time of the year - usually, they'd end up enduring the odd day of hot weather in their winter attire, or shivering in Lima's persistent winter drizzle in short sleeves.

And what does all this have to do with cycling? Well, not a lot - I was just thinking that, luckily, I'm not bound by rigid rules like those, so I'm responding to the good weather... and the shorts are back!. It's a highlight of my cycling year, just like when I have to switch the lights on to go home in October.

Also, only four weeks to the Coast to Coast...

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