Cold mornings, hot cycling
BRILIANT weather for cycling but gosh, the mornings can be a bit crisp.
Last Saturday I did a nice little ride before heading into the blood bank in Lismore to give some of my A-positive red stuff.
It looked so blue and sunny outside and when I was out earlier feeding the feather riot, it felt quite pleasant.
So I forwent the leg warmers and headed off up Wyrallah Rd.
Goodness. Suddenly all the people walking their dogs wrapped in multiple layers of wool and fleece - the owners, not the pooches - made sense.
By the time I'd finished my ride and was in the blood bank I had warmed up but it was a near thing.
But looking at the temperatures back in southwest Victoria - rain and 15 degrees - I reminded myself that a little chill when you end up riding in short sleeves is a fair price to pay for living somewhere so warm in winter.
Tour of Norway
In between the Tour de France and Vuelta a España is the lesser-known Arctic Race of Norway.
This delightful four-stage race ran from August 15-18.
While it does not have the gravitas of the TDF, it more than makes up for this with amazing scenery, gruelling roads and passionate fans.
Brisbane-born Nathan Haas, 30 (Team Katusha Alpecin), came in at 48th, some 24:42 behind Kazakhstan winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team).
It was a brilliant finish, as while Norwegian Markus Hoelgaard claimed the final stage, Lutsenko - who came third by a whisker - took the top spot on the podium.
Frenchman Warren Bargul slid into second place.
On Saturday the Vuelta a España starts and I'm already practising my tapas to keep me energetic and awake on the bike trainer.
Follow my fellow cycling tragics on Twitter at #couchpeloton.