Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Wind

I don't like the wind very much. Especially head winds. I suppose it's pleasant if you're flying a kite in a beautiful meadow on a grassy hillside. I don't really do that very often.

Never, actually.

I have found, however, that the wind is almost* the worst thing that Mother Nature can throw at me while riding.

* I'm almost sure that being hit by lightening would be worse. Also, most forms of precipitation are worse, though a light rain on relatively dry roads isn't that bad--if it stops right away. Floods and earthquakes are worse. Volcanoes are worse. Hurricanes are worse.

I guess, an easier way to put it is that I'd take hills/mountains in any quantity over a headwind.

In thinking over my anti-wind stance, I find it odd. You see, I'm the kind of rider that doesn't often enjoy rides without hills. I look for hills to ride everywhere I go. I enjoy hill repeats. I like the challenge, and I feel like it makes me a stronger rider.

Interestingly enough, it is challenging to ride into the wind. While this makes riding up hills fun, I hate the wind. Also, riding into the wind (and trying to maintain a good speed) most definitely makes me a stronger rider. And yet--and I hope I'm not being redundant here--I hate the wind.

An Example
This morning, I headed up Provo Canyon. I didn't have much time and I didn't plan on doing any serious hill work. I just wanted to get as far as I could in the extremely limited time I had. It was uphill and against the wind. It was an evil wind, too. I could tell.

I fought hard. The entire time, I kept thinking how fast I'd need to go to complete the LOTOJA. And how there might just be wind that day. In fact, if I know the wind, there will be wind that day. I struggled. I pushed. I ran out of time and had to turn around at Vivian Park. Suddenly, the wind tried to make it all up to me.

"Hey, buddy, no hard feelings, right?"

"See [in very rare instances] we can work together. Not bad, eh?"

Then, under it's breath, "I can't blow UP the canyon this time of day! Curse him and his increased speed. If only ..."

My average speed on the way back down was fast. It felt good. I averaged 19.2 mph that ride, overall. 21 miles. I know that isn't very long. I know I've got a long way to progress, but I felt like I stuck it to the wind to average 19.2 mph.

Realization
I think the only reason why I dislike the wind so much while riding my bike is this: I ought to be going faster. It's like the bee that came after you in the outfield when you played t-ball as a kid. All anyone saw was this weirdo dancing around out in the field. You look at the road. You look at the grade. You think, "Gee, that guy ought to be going much faster. He's even got a nice bike. What's holding him back? He totally draws attention to himself with that super-bright orange jersey, too. What a weirdo."

1 comment:

James Sharp said...

oh man, that was funny...

"I ought to be going faster. It's like the bee that came after you in the outfield when you played t-ball as a kid. All anyone saw was this weirdo dancing around out in the field."

Good thing I was eating or drinking when I read that, I might have choked and died!