In her most recent post, "Velouria" wrote about what seemed to be the end of her road riding season and the beginning of winter. The signal, for her, came when the group with whom she'd been riding packed it in for the season and she no longer had a fast road bike to ride. Fortunately, she found another group that will continue to ride every week as long as they're not snow- or ice-bound, and the road bike she'd converted to a "fixie" has become a road bike again.
Still, her post got me to thinking about the way the seasons signal themselves for cyclists. Some of us mark the beginning or end of road- (or off-road) riding season with our first or last rides of the year with some group or another of riders. Other cyclists, perhaps, see the beginning or end of their cycling seasons (or mark different riding seasons within the year) as the daylight hours grow longer or shorter. Other cyclists, I imagine, have other kinds of seasonal cues.
Somehow, though, I felt I saw a clear signal of winter's approach the other day, when I managed to sneak over to Rockaway Beach before work: