Into the Wind
I hate riding my bike in the wind. Hate it. Riding into the wind will fill me with rage faster than just about anything else (I have been known to shout obscenities at the wind, though I gave that up when I realized it was only making me angrier and more frustrated, and not actually releasing tension). I’ve ridden in the snow (both when it was falling, and when it was three inches deep on the ground), I’ve ridden through the cold, I’ve ridden through warm rain and freezing rain. Nothing makes me feel like the universe is hateful and petty like riding into the wind.
But for the past few months, I’ve been riding a lot more, and a lot farther, than I ever really have before. One of my jobs is 12 miles away, and the other only 3, so on any given day (depending on whether I’m working this job, that job, or both), I’m riding my bike anywhere between six and thirty miles a day. Six days a week. And a lot of days–especially in the mornings–it’s windy. And a lot of our wind comes out of the west or out of the north (various meteorology websites actually say that Colorado’s prevailing winds are from the south, but I don’t believe them), perfectly pointed for me to run into it.
So what am I going to do? Spend my whole ride pissed off? Not ride? Let an unavoidable fact of nature make my life more difficult than it has to be?
If it’s not the wind, in another month or so, I’ll be riding in 90 degree heat. I just got done riding in the below-freezing darkness, chunking my bike over frozen goose poop. There’ll be rain and flat tires and every other damn thing. There’ll always be something to keep me from riding if I let it. But if I let the possibility of those shitty, annoying things keep me off my bike, then I’ll never have the days when everything magically clicks together, and I feel like I could just pedal and pedal and pedal until I end up in Wyoming.
If I keep getting on my bike, then maybe I’ll pass the guys who cheerily tell me to “Keep your mouth shut, the bugs are bad ahead!” or the people who just say hi as they go by me, or call out “Behind your left!” when I’m being overtaken
If I keep getting on my bike, then I’ll see the goslings grow up, and maybe see a turkey again, or the heron that I’ve seen twice now.
Just keep pedaling. That’s all. Just keep pedaling.
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