Everything is bursting to life around here. Birds are building nests and laying eggs, new flowers popping up in every yard, the grass is a brilliant hue of green and the trees are beginning to bud. The world seems frantically alive with sounds, smells and vibrant colors.
Other than a light rain this morning we have had eleven solid days of sunshine. My weird cyclist tan lines are coming out of hiding and starting to provoke comments once again.
But probably the most bizarre thing about having so many sunny, dry days in a row is that I haven’t washed my bike in forever! After getting into a steady routine of cleaning my winter bike every single day, the lack of maintenance currently needed is rather off putting. I carry my bike up the stairs after a good ride and stare in surprise as I realize that once again, she is completely clean.
The wind has been active lately but I have stumbled upon a routine for my rides that makes the wind enjoyable rather than oppressive. I used to ride a lot of loops on my days off, but this spring I have found out and back routes to be even better.
I check the wind direction and then choose a road that will take me directly into its path. After riding into the wind as far as time and/or interest allow, I turn around and head home. It is an intoxicating feeling to have the wind suddenly at my back. The air seems to go still and there is a voice in my head that says, “GO!”
I have realized something about myself. It is easy for me to be motivated to ride my bike. But it is much harder to be motivated to ride my bike fast. I often slow down whenever the going gets rough to give my legs and lungs a break.
But with a tailwind?
I don’t know exactly why, but I can often push past the point of discomfort. I think my brain gets so excited with how fast my bike is going with the help of the wind that it forgets to complain. So I go as hard as I can and it is incredible. I have never been the thrill-seeker type so bombing down hills on my bike gives me a rare glimpse into the world of the adrenaline rush.
My brother and I rode together yesterday (we leave for Colorado in less than a month so we have been trying to ride as much as possible lately) and it was the best fun to feel the wind’s power together. We came back home feeling like epic beasts.