Breeeeezy

The title is one of grandson Ben’s former favorite words.  Ben has always liked language, talks a “blue streak” (original meaning is a reference to lightning), and loves new words.  On any given day, a word may strike him funny and become a source of ongoing merriment.  Such was “breeeeeeezy” some windy spring day a couple of years ago.

Today a cold front passing through made it just that.  But I’d been deprived of riding by schedules and bad weather too much recently, and I took off into a stiff westerly wind.  Such a wind evoked a great Ode from Percy Bysshe  Shelley a couple of centuries ago, but his was “the breath of Autumn’s being.”  Actually his wind might not be too out of place in our winter of 2011-2012, since true winter has yet to be ushered in, despite many false starts.  A little “wintry mix” made the trail impassable for a couple of days last weekend, but basically we’ve been above average in temperature for January, and downright mild much of the time.  As I rolled into the street today it was 62° and sunny.

I’ve blogged before about cycling in the wind.  The trick is not to struggle against the wind, but to roll evenly into it, hold your line, and minimize your profile by getting into the least upright position that’s reasonable.  I also rode the heavier Fuji today, since lighter bikes tend to get blown around, even with heavyweights like me on them.  And I always like to make the first leg of the trip into the wind, so that I am fresher when I have to expend the most energy, and can anticipate a surging tailwind on the way home.

The temperature dropped all along my route as the cooler wind blew in behind the front.  I had dressed for a cool-down, but still the shorts and sweatband reflected thermal optimism.  I let the louring clouds of the squall line, complete with a downpour and a couple of thunderclaps, pass on by, but was on the Trail to observe the clearing line of clouds with the vibrant blue sky behind it.  The air had a tang to it, so fresh and pure, and why shouldn’t it be, since it was probably somewhere north of Winnipeg yesterday.   It cleared my head, filled my brain with energy.  I’m so much more conscious of everything when I’m in that state.

When I got back, tailwind-assisted all the way, the temperature was 8° colder than it had been less than two hours earlier.

©Arnold J. Bradford, 2012

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