Wind and hills are my two main nemeses when it comes to cycling. Punctures too, obviously, but I’m hoping with my new tires coming on stream soon that they will be a thing of the past. The hills locally are also now pretty familiar to me so I know how to avoid the hairiest of those bastards – including the one that I live on. Wind, however, has been a troublesome little shit and a constant barrier to full enjoyment of many’s the ride. I’m not afraid of a little resistance but a constant headwind seemingly every direction you turn is far from enjoyable. I think I might have finally found a way to mitigate this.

Temperature: 63 f | Wind Speed: 17 mph | Miles this month: 40.32m | Miles this year: 188.13m (1,832.87m to go)

I took my bike into the woods. It’s not something I could do with my good bike as it is a guaranteed way to end my ride with me walking my bike for the last few miles. With my new bike having thicker tires – one of the main reasons I got it – I can actually take it on the gravel paths. I had a rough route mapped out in my head today which was longer than what I ended up achieving but the wind was playing fuck with my speed and I didn’t have all evening to be off gallivanting. I was in a bit of a no-mans-land where I couldn’t do the next stage of the route or I would have to do the last stage too and be late. I couldn’t figure out where else to go so headed for home but then the thought struck me. Near our apartment is Middlesex Fells Reservation which is a wooded area with reservoirs and and some cool hiking trails. One of the easier trails is also suitable for biking.

I suppose they are all suitable for biking if you are adventurous enough but I am not yet. I have seen some hardcore mountain bikers on some of the more expert trails and it’s really not my cup of tea at the moment but I wasn’t against trying the main bike loop today. My thinking was that trees block wind and I hate wind. I now have a bike that can handle the trail and it’s either this and add a couple more slow miles to this ride, or don’t do it and don’t get the miles.

It’s at times like I am always reminded of a segment of Dr. Phil I saw once. Often, after milking the cows in the morning, we’d be in for breakfast and Jeremy Kyle or Dr. Phil would be on. In this particular segment, some slack-jawed yokel was explaining to Phil that he was too good to work a minimum wage job so that’s why he wasn’t able to pay support to his baby mamma or some such nonsense. Phil tried to explain to him that having a job and making money was better than having no job and making no money. He used his left hand to represent $8 (presumably minimum wage wherever they were at the time) and his right hand to represent no dollars. He spent a painfully long time weighing his two hands, saying “Eight dollars… no dollars… eight dollars… no dollars” to this absolute dullard. For some reason, that scene has always stuck in my memory and so I decided that two extra miles was better than no extra miles.

I ended up finding it to be a nice change of pace and will definitely be doing it again, especially on the all-too-frequent nice but windy days we are having. As an aside, do we think that sign in the image for this post is directed at one particular dog walker or is there just a spate of people landing to this particular area with two hands full of dog leashes and terrorizing the people on this particular stretch of the trail? Whatever it is, I feel like there’s a story behind the sign.

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