Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

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!

5 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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  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!

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  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!!

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  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!

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