Team Sky’s Welsh Classics specialist and Cardiff Devils ice hockey fan Luke Rowe will be writing a regular weekly column for Cycling Weekly in 2017

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So a cyclist’s off-season is something any rider looks forward to after a hard season on the bike and months of saying, “Ah, I better not do that/eat that/drink that.” Then finally comes the end of the season and the final race, which for me has more often than not been the Road World Championships.

After that the brain instantly changes to relaxed, party mode for a month until you’re straight back to the grind and banking the miles. For 11 months of the year it’s full gas in all aspects of life, whether training, racing, dieting or time away from home.

Each rider is different and most flee to the sun and take a holiday. However, I prefer home comforts and usually opt to spend my month of freedom back home in Cardiff, spending time with friends and family and often letting loose in the pubs and clubs.

It’s also a time to just do slightly different things that you usually don’t have the time to do, even if it’s something as small as painting a room in the house, or finally getting around to mowing the overgrown lawn which looks more like the Amazon rainforest than a back yard by the time the ‘offy’ comes around.

People often ask, “Do you do any cycling at all during this month?” The simple answer is no. My bike collects cobwebs and I take the time to relax and build up the hunger to hit the following season hard.

The off-season is also turning into ‘wedding season’. Being a cyclist, a large amount of your best mates are obviously cyclists themselves, so the only time of year you can arrange a wedding and guarantee all the boys can make the big day is to have it in the off-season.

>>> Luke Rowe: Career history and results

This year was a particularly busy wedding period with three of my good mates, Dale Appleby and Sky team-mates Phil Deignan and Pete Kennaugh, all tying the knot. Add myself to that list and the off/wedding season led to some great weddings and a fair few pints with good mates.

A few months on and we are all still happily married. So far, so good — well done, chaps.

Until next time, ciao for now.