The Wind is Your Friend
Editor's Note: What follows is just plain silly. I strongly advise you to think twice before reading further.
Somewhere in the Bible, in the Old Testament, spring is referred to as that time of year "when kings go to war." Today, out here on the plains, it's also time for war, only it's we cyclists who are waging the battles, and the foe is none other than Mother Nature's flat-land answer to hill-training: the wind.
Historians tell us that some of the first settlers in this region were sometimes driven insane by the incessant spring winds. Fortunately, this is actually a preferred mental state for bicyclists in this area. Witness the experience of My Lovely Bride and me last Saturday, as we headed out for a ride on our trusty Cannondale tandem (a.k.a. the "Irrigation Pipe Special").
As we leaned into the boisterous crosswind ("SSE at 23, gusting to 29," according to The Weather Channel, notorious for understating conditions) we began the inevitable philosophical discussion that accompanies the search for the answer to the eternal question, "are we having fun yet?"
I allowed as to how it could be worse. "It could be 29 degrees, instead of 49."
"Yeah," she shouted, "at least we're not injured or sick, to the point where we can't ride at all."
"Also, we're in good enough shape that we can do a ride like this, unlike most people we know," came my halfhearted reply. "And, we can take pride in the fact that we have the discipline to get a workout, even in conditions like this!"
A few minutes elapsed, as we rode on, lost in our individual thoughts. Finally, her words came to me, softly, defying the wind, against all odds: "Plus, we're not too sane to enjoy this."
And so it went, for thirty-something miles. Random mindless babbling, punctuated by periods of silence in which the only noise louder than the breeze was that strange clunking sound emanating from the vicinity of the bottom bracket.
At one point, we were sheltered on the leeward side of an overpass. MLB commented that she wished they would build this entire section of highway as an overpass (implying that that would solve most of the world's problems).
I replied, "I'd rather they dug a cyclists' tunnel."
"They already did," she yelled gleefully, "but it's a wind tunnel!!"
With that we erupted into maniacal cackling, startling herds of drought-stricken cattle situated downwind, and who, coincidentally, were also leaning into the gale, but who had the collective wisdom to stay off their bicycles on this particular day.
Who knows? Maybe those historians were right, after all.