You may have noticed this past week that it has been windy in a way that is, for Colorado, kind of extreme. If you have not noticed, then reach atop your head and mourn, for your hat is gone.
Last Thursday I found myself riding into a relentless headwind. I'd planned to take a tour that day along the Highline Canal. The forecast was promising, and I was hoping for a day of this:
I zipped up my windbreaker and put on two pairs of gloves and headed out. It was windy in that way where sometimes it's impossible to inhale. Dead leaves that had hardened into little serrated discs cut through the air. Geese overhead were flying south, but moving east in formations that more resembled the braille "V" than the Roman.
Occasionally I'm the kind of person who sits in front of Map my Ride and tries to find a difficult ride and then alter it until it's unenjoyable. For example, a friend mentioned wanting to try the Triple Bi-pass route this summer, and after a couple of beers we for some reason decided we would ride another 120-mile route with double the climbing. It's often fun to imagine such torturous rides, and sometimes fun to complete them. Last Thursday, however, I was not that kind of person. In Thursday's wind I withered like a piece of fruit rotting in a time-lapse video. I think this is okay. If Vanilla Ice has taught us anything, it's that you can't always be at your best. Sometimes you can really love bikes and still go home early.
I turned and headed for home, or to basically connect points A and B on the map above with the shortest line. I put my head down and rode northwest for about two hours. When I looked up, this is what had happened:
What's worse than any of this is that I couldn't get that song from Paint Your Wagon out of my head all day. It's not a bad song, but because of it I couldn't stop imagining Mariah Carey terrorizing the sky on her unicorn, glitter blowing into everyone's eyes. Yes, sometimes it is better to ride with an iPod.
If by now you've reached up and checked your head to find your hat is indeed gone, we can help.