17 March 2011

Bike commute day 5, return home—first windy day

You know that strength and esteem that a tail wind provides? I was so proud of my dynamo legs as I left the traffic signal at Research Boulevard. Then perhaps after a quarter mile, I felt it, that slight rush of wind past me, as a gust moved just a touch faster than my actual speed.

"So I wonder then what it'll be like, when I get to the open areas along the Mad River?" I mused. But I put aside that thought, momentarily observed, and dropped into the Savasana that is cycling along a well-known route. My concentration turned to each shift needed, each awareness of the road, the traffic, the irregularities of the path. And I flowed in the smooth speed that comes with the assist of the Southwest Zephyr.

Once I turned onto the tree-sheltered bikeway between Spaulding and Woodman, the push of the winds faded, and indeed my legs were strong, my heart beating against the inside wall, "Let me out! I want to see what my power can do!"

Each slight opening among the enclosing trees reminded me that I would refind the challenge of sailing against the wind, once I no longer had the friendly shelter I could enjoy through the first nine miles of my commute. "Best enjoy the wind as a winnable challenge, something that those stationary bikes can only pretend to. Best accept it as the alternative to the easy flatness of the river corridor bikeways. And best know that the exertion is temporary, since there is another shelter of housing and trees on the other side of the Monument Avenue Bridge."

Temperature: 68°F at 19:00
Precipitation: none
Winds: 5 to 15 mph from the south and west
Clothing: Skinsuit; ankle socks.; open-finger gloves.
Time: 0:47:00 (approx.) for 12.5 miles
Bikeway users: 17 cyclists, 35 pedestrians, 9 dogs

19:02—depart from work.
19:13—trestle remains at Linden.
19:23—west gate to Eastwood Park.
19:34—passing the zig-zag up from the Mad River Bikeway.
19:49—arrive home.

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