Wind: Whatever, I’m not scared
I headed out for a
50 40 mile ride. It was about 70 degrees and sunny. The roads weren’t too busy with cars and I was riding fast toward Newton despite the hills that make up the landscape. Out of habit, I turned toward Sully at mile 15 and was kissed hello by a headwind that almost blew me backward up the hill. I locked into my biggest gear and pedaled down the hill trying to build the momentum to keep me headed east up the hills to Sully. My lungs were screaming for mercy as I crawled up and down the rollers to Sully. I kept going, hopeful the wind would die down a bit. The cafe in Sully was closed until dinner time, so I hit up the Casey’s for some nourishment. I bought a smoothie made by Naked. I sat in the sun outside the store on a curb and guzzled it. It had some whey protein added, giving it that gritty and chalky quality. Before throwing the bottle away, I thought I’d just take a peek at the ingredients I’d just consumed at record speed. My eyes were fixed on the stamp on the neck of the bottle. “Enjoy by Mar 11 11.” Freekin’ fabulous.
20 miles from home, I have only one choice that I can see. I pointed Ira back the way we came and hoped for the best with that expired beverage thing. A couple of miles out of Sully, I stopped in a ditch to enjoy the not-expired, very drinkable beer that I purchased at Casey’s for just such a ditch. The people who lived at the end of the dirt road saw me, my bike laid down and walked up the road to see if I needed air or a patch. I drank my beer and they filled me in on some area roads that make for some good riding. Once again, I was reminded of how thoughtful and friendly my fellow Iowans are.
This good feeling was gone quickly when the 20-23 mph winds were trumped by 27-29 mph gusts that bucked me on the flats and the hills. There was no escape. I dug in. My lungs, earlier screaming for mercy, were in a constant state of duress. I just kept going. I was out of the saddle, in an attack position against this oppressive wind. I hardly even laughed when I saw a car in the driveway of a farmhouse with the words “For Sale $10 OBO” painted in the rear window. Even the half-laugh hurt. I turned my attention back to the task at hand. Ride these hills. Fight this wind. Better, Faster, Stronger. I stopped again after only 10 miles of battling the nefarious gusts.
I managed to pull off the last 10 miles of rollers and wind. Thankful for the 10 mile mistake by going to Sully, I arrived in town out of water and covered in a layer of salt rivaling the finest salt lick. If the expired Smoothie had any ill effects on me, I didn’t notice. My preoccupation was with the other elements contributing to the ride.
A quick nod to spring, these are the things I did notice:
- Fields of frogs croaking loudly
- Soybean seedlings
- The smell of burning leaves
- The smell of charcoal
- Buds on the trees
- Crocus flowers
- Dog walking
- My new sunburn
- Ditch drinking (Point of clarification~ I was the only one doing it)
It’s even windier today. I better get out there and show that wind who’s boss.