Sunshine, Wind and Flowers

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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.

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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.

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Squint and you’ll miss it…the beginning of the wonderful glove tan line.

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.

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It has been so dry that Smoky the Bear is out in full force to warn of forest fires.

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.

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16 thoughts on “Sunshine, Wind and Flowers

  1. We still have lots of brown. Our green up doesn’t arrive for another three to four weeks. But that’s fine with me. I’ve never been a fan of hot weather. I’ll take the coolness as long as it lasts.

    I often choose my rides based on wind direction. It’s always nicer to end with a tailwind.

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    • Yeah, this past week has been perfect, the nights have been coldish-anywhere from 28 to 40 degrees but than it warms up to 50 or 60 degrees during the day. It is great, but I know it signals the coming of warmer weather, I am going to miss the cool mornings!

      Tailwinds are the best 😀

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    • It’s the opposite here in Portland. With little exception, everything is fully green and leafed out. When it was 90 the other day it not only looked like summer, but felt like summer!

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      • 90!?!?! In April? I am still trying to get my body to adjust to the upper 60’s…I don’t wanna think about 90 degree weather! Just how hot does it get in your neck of the woods?

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      • Well, 90F in April is very rare. 80F is pretty rare too, though 70F is fairly common, though the typical April high is in the 60s. Summer is usually 70-80, though we can and will get 90+. We hit the record last year for most 90+ days, just about 30. A full month of 90 and above! (But thankfully, not all in the same month.)

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  2. I haven’t been riding as much, due to family obligations, so good for you. But you didn’t post your tan lines. Wanna see them 🙂

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    • Sorry to hear you haven’t been able to ride as much as you would like too…I hope life slows down soon for you!

      And do you really honestly think it is a good idea to encourage a cyclist to show off their tan lines? My motto is “I ride in the winter to have fun, I ride in the summer to get tan lines.” 😀 I updated the post, behold the beginning of the tan!

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  3. I’ve got a weather beaten face, and my legs are dirty brown, but no suntan or tan lines yet, here in Wales, but the trees are budding up, the swallows have returned, so spring has well and truly arrived. Cheers.

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  4. I know what you mean about riding slow. Sometimes I find I’m just meandering along without doing too much and the ‘exercise’ value of my bike ride turns out to be very little. It’s great to mix it up with some speedy rides. It’s exhilarating!

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