Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nice Try Wind

As the day begins and the weekend chores list themselves I sigh and start the coffee.  This is my day to play catch up, laundry, dishes, cleaning, blah.  The day tumbles on and I check the clock, time for laundry, laundry... LAUNDRY!  Mental check... grab the curtains, they must go.  As I take down the curtains, it hits me, wow... its nice out, the sky is bluer than expected and the sun isn't hiding behind snow clouds.  But it was suppose to be nasty today, plummeting temperatures, high winds and snowy conditions, oh, my!  I had already resigned myself to a late afternoon run.  Besides, today the laundry has to be done!  I head to the computer this time ignoring the clock and checking the temperature.  50.

Nice try Laundry.

I down a glass of water and peel a banana.  I look at the mess on the table with disdain and head for bike clothes.  Laundry day means crappy left over shorts, thread bare and lining the very bottom of the drawer.  You know the ones you don't want to be caught dead in.  Ugh.  I don the shorts.

Nice try shorts.

And as I ready myself, checking and double checking for my goods and gear, I'm thinking about my route.  This would be my first solo ride since moving to Colorado.  Whoa, I stop for a minute and think.  Surely it is underestimating to think I can count my significant solo rides with my fingers.  I've just never had a shortage of riding companions.  Hum.  And I don't yet really know all the roads... Hummm, this could almost be considered an adventure.  Time to get lost.

With serious wind and melting snow in the canyons my options are few.  I head North and then East.  I notice the riders are in short supply.  A fellow signal light cyclist comments on the wind.  He is heading in, enjoying the tailwind.  He smiles knowing I am choosing my fate.  Tailwind out, headwind in.  I smile back... I'm on an adventure.  I pedal on knowing that with each revolution my return trip will be that much harder. 

This road looks familiar, I turn South and am hit by my first serious starboard gusts.  I know you think you are something wind... you and your power... you and your blowy blow-ed windedness.  Not today.  Just because I am small, bike and body total weight less than 140 pounds wet, doesn't mean you can take me down, go ahead and try.

Nice try wind.

Mental check, if I remember correctly there are hills ahead.  More starboard gusts, bike at 45, leaning into the wind, I reach in my pocket and search for food.  I take a break by heading further East enjoying the tailwind, taking in fuel.  Now South again.  Starboard gusts, bike at 45 and I'm climbing. 

Nice try hill.

As I crest the hill it is time to face the headwind.  West is the only option.  The wind makes the descent feel like a climb.  The guy going up the hill with the tailwind is traveling faster than I am.  I want the speed so I pedal harder.  My face hurts and my eyes burn.  I push hard and tuck in. And as I approach the intersection I am faced with a choice, head in or head out?  My route is not planned, my decisions not thought out, my pace that of a snail and my face the location of a painful cell splitting ambush of wind and grit.  I smile and head out.

Nice try wind.

In a short time I find myself on a road I have only been on twice before, both times shared with a special friend of yore.  I pedal on, my soul shrinks and the clouds roll in.  I focus on the wheels, the pedals, the place where the tire meets the road.  Evil thoughts in... pedal, pedal, pedal... evil thoughts out.  I stop for more fuel.  The clouds and wind chill me to the bone.  The sun is no help.  I turn to head in.  I keep turning, make a loop and continue to head out. 

Nice try evil thoughts.

In a few short miles I realize my destination.  I am proud, I didn't know where I was going but now that I am here, I have made it.  I'm comfortable knowing I did more than I expected and start the trek home.  It is getting cold, the sun is hiding but my face wears a smile.
The path to home comes more quickly than expected and I skip it.  I've never gone this way, wonder where it leads... I get lost.  And without a thought I add another hour to my ride.  Now I am tired.
As I dismount I almost instantly begin to shiver.  I enter the house and a tornado of cycling gear ensues.   I head straight for the tub, recovery drink in hand.  I invent a new sport... tiny bathtub stretching.  I am chilled through my core and my muscles are weak but my soul, my heart and my mind are clear.  My brow is unfurled.   I look up at the slanted ceiling and I listen to the Black Keys through underwater ears.  I grin at the slanted ceiling...

Cyclist 1 Wind 0

Nice try wind.