The afternoon of Christmas Day. Dogs walked, presents opened, alcohol avoided. With the big feast not scheduled until the evening and everyone preparing for some serious sofa slumbering, I seize my chance.
Like a philanderer trying to find time for his mistress, I've been waiting for an opportunity to go out on the bike. It's Christmas and that's what I want to do. On the other hand, it's Christmas and "You're not seriously going out on the bike, are you?"
So at 3pm I saddled-up, got the pedals spinning and blew away the festive cobwebs. I didn't entirely overlook the Christmas season. In a single bah humbug concession, I topped-off my normal cycle clothing with a natty Santa suit.
I didn't go far. Just a twelve mile ride along empty lanes. I sailed over a bridge across the M6 motorway. Even there it was peaceful. I cycled through the town centre and wheeled round one of the biggest roundabouts - not something I'd normally risk.
All was quiet, all was still.
As light fell, everyone else was tucked away indoors, heavy on a diet of turkey and telly. I felt as though I was on the run. And in the words of a musician friend who has spent much of the last month touring stadiums and television studios, I wish it could be Christmas every day.
To be honest, I can highly recommend the suit. Admittedly felt isn't exactly a technical fabric but I was nicely toasty. Best of all, the very few motorists who did venture out, gave me an absurd amount of space on the road. After all, who wants to be the one who kills Santa on Christmas Day?
Nobody seemed surprised to see Mrs Christmas hunched over the handlebars, pedaling like crazy in an attempt to beat her personal best. Let's face it, December 25 is bound to be a busy day in the Santa household and he's gone off with the reindeer. Again. I heard only one comment, from a pedestrian clearly full of the 'spirit' of Christmas and shouting on his mobile phone while weaving across the pavement: "Bloody hell it's Santa. On a bike!"
My circuit complete, I headed home for nut roast, crackers and Christmas pudding. Just a shame I have to wait a whole year before pulling on my costume and having the roads to myself again.