Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Wind is My Friend

I peeked through the blinds around 11 o'clock to see what was happening outside our cozy little home. I could see the sun trying to break through the blue-gray clouds, the kind that usher in snow, and I could see our neighbor's birdhouse swinging from the force of the wind. Hubby asked what I was doing. Checking the wind, I told him. Because he had his new tablet sitting on his lap, he quickly tapped the weather icon. 22 mph out of the south, he said. Since 17 mph couldn't stop me from getting out for a ride two days ago, I wasn't about to let 22 mph stop me from getting a ride in today.

Wind from the side is much more tolerable than a headwind, so I started out heading southwest. Buildings are great windbreaks, but when there's a gap, watch out. That wind will just about knock you down. Riding on windy days doesn't appeal to a lot of people, but I like the challenge of staying steady, of keeping my speed above 14 mph, of not getting pushed off the side of the road or even into the middle of the lane (that would be bad if a car were coming up behind me). Wind really is a great workout partner. It never lets up. I've heard some cyclists complain about the wind, how you can't see it like you can a hill. At least with a hill, you can gauge how much effort you'll need to make it to the top. With wind, they say, you can't see it. I can see the wind; flags are great for judging from which direction and just how hard the wind is blowing, and the prairie grasses let me know, too. The turbines are the best, though, as they turn faster when the wind is blowing harder, and they, too, let me know from which direction the wind is coming.

Today the wind kept me on my toes, but in the process, my toes froze. By the time I reached the driveway, they were numb. I had decent socks on, but with it being only 39 degrees and the wind making it feel more like 30 degrees, my toes were the ones who suffered. Face was good. Fingers were toasty warm. I even broke a sweat and could feel it trickling down my back. But my toes were unhappy. Time to invest in some good wool socks and some shoe covers. Bike shop here I come.

This is a video I put together yesterday after playing with my Christmas present all day. Like I need another gadget to waste away the hours!

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