01 June 2012

Sneaking Away, Into The Wind

Today I was asked to go to a function where I really didn't have to be.  I never exactly said "no," but I didn't commit to it, either.  So, if anyone notices I wasn't there (There's a good chance nobody will!), I can say that "something came up."

Which it did.  That "something", of course, is a ride.   When I left my apartment just after noon with Arielle, scarcely a cloud besmudged the blue, sunny sky.  A strong breeze bent tree limbs and flickered leaves.  But the weather was just warm enough that the breeze invigorated me.

Given that it was such a lovely day, I figured I could ride to Point Lookout and be home around the time of the end-of-day traffic filled the roads.  It was a good plan, but not necessarily for the reasons I planned.

We all know that when you pedal into a breeze, it turns into a wind.  And when you pedal into a wind, it turns into a gale.  Someone told me that once.  That person, once again, was right.  But I didn't care:  I just wanted to ride.

Then, as I pushed through Howard Beach and along the roads and bridges to the Rockaways, clouds gathered.  By the time I got to the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, the skies were overcast.  Even though they grew grayer and more opaque, they never really darkened.  So, I knew there was no real threat of rain.

But by the time I got to Point Lookout, I felt I was looking at what Andrew Wyeth might have painted had he lived in a coastal town:

Still, the ride was more than pleasant and, surprisingly, didn't take much longer than it normally did.  I also wasn't tired.  

The upside to pedaling in the wind, of course, is that when you turn around, it's at your back.  Arielle really lived up to her name:  I felt like I was floating over the roads through Lido Beach, Long Beach and Atlantic Beach, and over the bridge to Far Rockaway.  Even when riding the boardwalk, I felt like I was on a magic carpet powered by Eddie Mercx, Jeanne Longo and a Russian sprinter or two.  

Things probably never would have gone so smoothly had I attended that function I really didn't have to attend!


  1. Aw! the joys of skipped events, enabled by bicycling. Shame on you for not being more adult, NOT! Hope you are still reveling in the joy the ride brought you.

  2. Well, I'm glad you didn't 't attend that function because I got to read and know everything you experienced and felt on this particular ride. That's the wonderful thing about riding a bicycle, all that you get to see up close and feel.

  3. David--A very wise person (an adult female, in fact) once told me, "You'll always have time to grow up." Sometimes I still live by that. Other times I pretend to feel duly abashed when I'm admonished for not doing the things I "should" do.

    Sue--Thank you. That's one of the kinder things anybody has said about my blogs!

  4. Only two things were ever cursed when out cycling, icy roads and wind. I spent a month cycling on the Shetland islands and what I saw and where I went depended solely on the wind! After the wind had blown strongly from the south for nearly two weeks andI only had a couple of days left I rode all morning into a wall of wind to the southern tip of the chain to visit a Viking archeological site knowing that the ride home would be a breeze, The wind reversed direction!!

  5. Coline--When I was visiting my parents in Florida, I took a ride into the wind. Like you, I thought I would coast back to my parents house. But the wind shifted direction.

    On the way back, I stopped at a major intersection for a traffic signal. A male cyclist about my age pulled up alongside me. "Is it my age?", he wondered. "I always seem to be pedaling into the wind."

    "I think it is a matter of age," I said.

    Now I'm realizing that pedaling into the wind might be a good metaphor for aging!