The cycling season in Europe is a Summer affair which means that back home in Australia during this time, it's cold and dark. Heading overseas for the racing season means that I get to enjoy an endless summer.
This has many benefits. The first being that during the off season, early training doesn't involve 6 layers of clothing and a pair of cross-country skis. While the Europeans are riding through snow on their cyclocross bikes, I get to enjoy the Australian summer.
Secondly, it means that I can enjoy a break at the end of the year on the beach, rather than rugged up inside in the dark.
Thirdly, when the first training camp of the season rolls around, I'm not the whitest guy there. The Europeans develop a corpse-like glow after being inside for a couple of months while the Aussies are brown.
Despite these benefits, during the last few days here in Italy, I have been wishing for some cooler weather. It is hot. Filthy hot. Sit around in your sweaty underwear hot. Not just during the day either bit all day and all night. There is no escaping it.
The worst thing is, for some reason, Italians do not do air conditioning. Perhaps it's because they are in a refrigerated wasteland for half the year so they embrace the warmth but no matter where you go, no one turns on the air conditioning!
Cars go past with the windows down. Restaurants are 30 degrees inside and don't turn on the A/C even when there is a giant pizza oven burning away. Shops are sealed air tight with not even a fan turning. You even sweat when you are in a ice cream shop!
I do not understand it. I'm suffering. I see people around me suffering. But still, no one says anything about it. I'm starting to look forward to a bit of winter.