Word of the Day: Inexorable

Or, why I hate the wind. For me, there are a few things that make riding a bicycle unenjoyable: 1) knee pain, but the BG Fit has taken care of that, 2) saddle sores, 3) wind. Rain does not make this list (but sometimes makes the "reasons I enjoy riding" and "how to make a good ride epic" lists).

Not a whole lot of cyclists enjoy riding in the rain, and this is actually one of the reasons I love it. While everyone else is sitting at home on the couch or in mental toil on the stationary trainer, I'm getting in some solid training miles - made all the more sweet knowing that few other people are doing the same. It's also great for mental toughness. Going into robot mode and chugging through a downpour makes suffering in the heat, off the front, up a hill, or in the cold much more bearable. (See last year's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2010 as an example of robot mode, when all the glamourists dropped out and only the hardmen (Stannard, Flens, and my favorite, Bobbie Traksel) were left). I'm also most prepared when the rainy races come around. I even look forward to misty and cold races. Finally, it makes many common post-ride activities, such as coffee drinking, a warm shower, and eating a burrito under a blanket while zoning out in front of the television so much greater.

On the other hand, there's wind. Wind is relentless. Around here, it blows in all directions at once. Instead of making a ride epic, it makes it suck. Unlike rain, you can't commiserate with fellow riders about it, as the words are muted by it's deafening howl. A forty mile ride in the wind keeps you out there for four hours. In the rain, you can still hammer out a solid pace; in the wind, you white-knuckle grip the drops and, despite your cross-eyed chugging, you're crawling along at 12 miles per hour. Descending in the rain is alright if you play it smart and take it slow (I know, I wiped out descending in the wet at team camp...), but going downhill with crosswinds leaves you subject to mother nature's gusts.

Anyway, this rant was brought about by a rather windy ride that Hank and I went on today. I got as far as the bridge before I found myself wishing it was raining.