I often say that to fellow riders as we are struggling on a group ride. Hills are our friends too. Right?
The sound began as a whisper as I rode my bike on a country road flanked by evergreens. It was the sound of wind approaching me. The trees in the distance begin to rustle then bend. The wave approached and got louder and I could see the approaching gust moving toward me as the trees reacted. I began to tense anticipating the struggle about to begin. The gust hit me with a fury, I was now in a wind tunnel and my speed immediately dropped from 16 to 10, then 8, 6, 4. The wind howled and I had to yell to hear myself say FAAAAAAAACK. Then is stopped but only for a few seconds till the second wave hit. I was struggling to keep moving and knew that if I stopped pedaling hard, the bike would stop moving.
Things improved as the road curved and took the wind out of my face. I was beginning to get into a good spin until I approached a causeway. I would be in the open till I crossed the lake. Again I heard the wind before it hit me head on. The gusts threatened to send me and my bike for baptism in the lake. I finally reached the turn around point and the ride became a hoot.
One hill to climb with a cross wind then it was 14 miles home with the wind at my back. I heard the trees rustling behind me but did not hear the wind. Nor did I feel it. Now I was the wind. The hills turned to inclines, I got into the big gear on the front cog and began to smile. I was in the zone and coasting at 18 MPH effortlessly. I needed to get some food for dinner after this ride, but it was so nice that I took a two mile detour to the market. As I took a left, two kids on BMX bikes coming the other way, turned right on the same road. I decided to pass, gave them a heads up, and let loose. I was very surprised when I looked at my speed o meter and saw the number 26.8 staring me in the face. Not on a hill, on a flat.
Sometimes the wind is brutal, but then again, the wind can be our friend. So can a Clydesdale if you carry and apple on your bike ride.