On days that the wind is gusting faster than I can usually cycle, I really consider not riding. With gusts at 20 mph, it really doesn’t matter if I have the best blocker in the pack, within 5 minutes of pedaling into it I’m ready to chop off one of my legs so I have an excuse to stop without looking like a wuss.
Clearly, it’s been a breezy few days here in Southwest Florida.
The work team went out for a ride on Monday, and it was brutal. I’ve been getting stronger on the bike and had worked my way up to staying with the group for at least most of the sufferfest (or as they like to call it “recovery ride), but Monday, I was dropped like a sack of potatoes just a few miles in. The wind was brutal BEFORE I got dropped, but as I watched the wheel in front of me slowly slip away, it was seconds before those inches were feet because of the huge gusts and lack of draft slapping me in my face.
Luckily, we’re a “no man left behind” kind of group, so one of the fast guys came back and got me and pulled me through the rest of the ride. I still hope that he didn’t hear the grizzly bear-esque noises that were escaping me every 30 seconds or so trying to keep up with his “easy” pace.
Tonight is another scheduled ride, this one at twice the distance of Monday and with a larger group, but the wind is still conspiring against me.
Part of me wants to say “screw it,” and nurse my ego and beer instead of put up with the physical and psychological abuse of pedaling with all my might and only managing to go 9 miles per hour. When turtles come screaming by you, you know it’s a windy day on your bike.
But another part of me, this new part that has emerged recently, is giving myself a minute by minute pep talk. It sounds something like this:
You can DO this.
It never gets easier, you just go faster, you know that.
This is a planned workout, you need to do this.
Besides, there’s beer in it at the end, and you won’t have to feel guilty.
Suck it up buttercup.
Don’t be a pussy.
You got this.
Does it suck? Good, you’re doing it right.
That other voice, that’s is shouting and arguing loudly with this one, doesn’t really matter… because in the end I know this one will win.
What can I say? I WANT that beer.