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In New England, we often say we have more than four seasons. In addition to spring, summer, fall, and winter, we often talk about fool’s spring, second winter, and mud season. These in-between seasons may be just as confusing on your wardrobe as they are on your psyche but we’ve actually come to love one unique season: “stick season.” Stick season is the term in Vermont and other parts of New England for when the leaves have fallen off the trees but before the snow has blanketed them. When the trees are essentially just sticks.
This transition between fall and winter may seem like a boring or ugly season, after all the “leaf peeping” tourists have gone home and before all the people come up for ski season. You may be getting in the last of the dwindling biking days or you may have already hung your bike up for the season. This transition period, before your skis or snowboards come out for the season, is a great chance to reflect on the fun and busy summer, and a wonderful opportunity to slow down a little bit before the next season starts. If you’re anything like us, the summer is jam packed with biking, BBQs, hanging out with friends and family, more biking, spending time on the water, and so on. Basically anytime the sun is out there can feel like an unofficial obligation to get outside and spend as much time in the outdoors as possible. While we absolutely love the outdoors, if it’s a nice summer with lots of sunshine, we can be outdoors and darting around so much that we run ourselves ragged. It feels weird to complain about this because it’s not really a problem at all, but when you’re just going, going, going all the time, it can be absolutely exhausting. So much so that you might even look forward to a rainy day so that you can get the necessary things done in your life like that overlooked and not-nearly-as-fun housework or other “adulting” tasks.
While this isn’t even really a problem and might not be something you personally experience, it has helped us truly appreciate (and even look forward to) stick season. Between late October into early December, we take this “season” as a chance to slow down from the busy pace of summer, reconnect with people we haven’t seen between everyone’s hectic summer travel schedules, reflect on everything we’ve accomplished over the summer months, and recharge for a winter filled with skiing, snowboarding, and other activities.
So, if you’re feeling bored or unsure of what to do after biking is over for the season, slow down, make yourself a nice cup of tea or a pumpkin spice latte, call up a friend, watch a movie, have lunch with your parents, or do anything else you’ve been neglecting all summer. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go when the next season starts.
Featured image: Ashley Rosemeyer
Cycling images: Ryan Bent