Thursday, April 21, 2011

Forget the Wind

Forget the wind.

I turned into the homeward direction, and felt the full friction force of the stated 20-30 mph headwinds, like riding up a hill. Hills are not my favorite. Perhaps it is fortunate or wise that I chose to live in a place rich with flat rides, with the option to choose the hills, the "sky islands" in the desert they are called, if I feel the impulse to give due time to the hill climb. But hills generally remind me of headwinds, which are owed no due in my book. 

This headwind pushed against me, and it made me push harder against the pedals to keep even a moderate speed. Slower does not feel right. Harder does not feel right. I just want my homeward spin, my meditative evening trip, my easy ride. Easy gone when the wind blows in your face, JRA. Discouraged. Spin harder. Work home.

But this guy showed up again. He's making a habit of this absurd quest, seeking small heron fishy dinner treats where only giant sterile grass carp lurk, but I give him points for tenacity.  Who knows. Maybe something will float by. Something like a small silver fishy.

I decided to ride closer, get a better shot. He's been skittish before, but this time he let me coast up close. He didn't move, so neither did I. The wind rumbled my ears, ruffled his feathers. Still neither of us moved. So intent. Such focus. The s-curve of his neck, the graceful legs, the splayed toes across the cement. The rushing of water drowned out most of the other sounds. It was a moment: I was there, the wind was the wind but less intrusive or significant, the water rushed, the heron focused his laser intense gaze on fishies that would never come.

I left him to it. Yes, the air pushed against me all the way home, but I let it. I guess I worked harder, but I didn't sweat it. I forgot the wind. Somehow heron showed me how. Get up. Go ride.


  1. Beautiful writing, as always. I like hills. They're tough but generally there's an end in sight. When you get to the top, you can see what you've accomplished, and you get to ride down the other side.

    Wind, on the other hand, can be in your face for miles at a time, slowing your progress and making you ride harder, for no visible gain.

    True, a tailwind can be a wonderful thing, but I'm not always sure it's worth it. I prefer hills.

    It looks like this ride was one where the stopping part was the best part of the ride. That heron sure is beautiful, and it seems like he lets you get closer each time.

  2. Maybe he's training you to bring fish along with you! As for wind and hills - it's all just gears to me.

  3. I need one of them for my yard.
    The bird I mean.

  4. Apertome, thanks! Those hills with false crests are an interesting exercise in psychology and pace though, aren't they? The ones where you think you're at the top then find out you've really only gotten started in cranking up?

    Steve, I did experience a monsoon-driven dusty headwind of more than 40 mph continuous before, and tried to make headway in my lowest gear. I could barely make forward progress. It was on a commute home, so I guess my only alternatives were a) keep trying b) call for a pickup (THE HORROR!) c) stop and wait to see if it would pass. I kept cranking. It was just ridiculous, though.

    limom, it appears that if you could fabricate a rather fast moving stream that looked like it contained fishy snacks, you might attract some. Note that it is not actually required to stock the fish snacks, as they don't seem to figure out that THERE WILL NEVER BE FISHY SNACKS.


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