This is it, the moment I’ve been building up to all season. All the roads I've ridden down have been leading to this one place, this special moment in time. I can’t tell you how good it feels to hit a target, so comprehensively, right in its bullseye. I’ve finished my season and got a lovely bloody cold. 


In January, when I set my season goals, I wrote things like “win a road race” and yet somehow I neglected to put down “get sick as soon as you’re allowed to.” I might be grumpy about the lack of power in my legs, which is directly linked to the abundance of mucus in my face, but really I should be enjoying this down time. I’ve timed it perfectly to coincide with the end of my racing season, and it should knock any trace of good form out of me, stopping me from riding too much now that I can afford to ride too much.


It still absolutely sucks, though. A few days ago I considered myself an athlete, a very small man, hewn from a very small piece of granite (or granite substitute), with tan lines stretched tight across muscle, so sharp that you could actually cut yourself on them. I was awesome. Now I’m a puddle of misery, laid low by a virus that can be treated with something as hardcore as a packet of Lockets. I’m pathetic. My arrogance has once again been my downfall. As Icarus flew too close to the sun, I sat too close to someone on the train.


In a day or two I’ll probably be fine, but by then it’ll be too late. October will be here and going outside on a bike will involve an ordeal that involves at least 30 minutes of putting on clothes, before going out on a heavy, winter bike, whose only aim is to make you feel like you forget that you’ve ever been able to go above 20mph. Maybe now I’ll be able to concentrate on actually doing my career rather than pretending to be a bike racer. That’s what end of season colds are for.