Ugh. I HATE the wind…actually I guess that’s not true. The wind makes me stronger, and sometimes I can summon the coy, combative attitude that makes me grin as I shift down and make the wind my training partner, pushing me to maintain the mental and physical force required to get my training ride in. But, that’s when I’m in a strong mental state. Which, let’s face it, most of the time, I’m not.
Ok. I digress. This is the deal. I don’t like the wind. It’s windy in Boulder a lot-especially in the winter. Sometimes I can be a big girl and fight it. Most of the time I get cranky and feel sorry for myself. This morning…this beautiful October morning, where I had planned to get a lovely mountain bike ride in on my way into work, I instead woke up to wind. UGH! During my off season I would just like to ride my bike in pristine conditions on perfect single track, with warm sun, chirping birds, and pleasantly grazing deer as company. When I arrive at work after my pleasant, yet physically taxing ride in, I would like my fairy godmother to greet me there and wave her wand- magically erasing sweat, dirt, and grime and transform me into an appropriately attired professional career-woman so that I don’t have to waste my time showering, brushing, drying, etc.That would be totes awesome.

Instead, on this morning, I woke up to wind and cold and no car since I left it at work the night before. So, I begrudgingly prepared myself for my commute in-layering excessively because I’d be damned if I was going to be cold on my ‘fun’ ride during my ‘off-season’. I kept an ear open, waiting for my ‘No-go’ signal from the wind, but I didn’t hear it so I slowly prepared myself to mount up and head into work.

I would like to take this opportunity to explain what my ‘no-go’ signal is…see, as a mechanical engineer I used to design parts that would need to be verified…usually via inspection. Often, a feature could be verified via a Go/No-Go gauge. For instance, a hole diameter could be verified with a calibrated pin that would either Go or Not Go and thereby verify that the hole was appropriately sized. In my house we have this external vent flue that I use as a wind gauge. If it is windy enough such that the vent rattles open/shut, I know that it is a No-Go for me to ride…too windy. If branches are breaking and small dogs are being carried away and yet the vent remains silent, I know that I better toughen up and head outside. This morning was one of those mornings. A beautiful collage of red, orange, and yellow leaves were being blown down our street but the damn Go/No-Go vent was silent. So I hopped on my bike and put my head down and headed into work. And, it was beautiful. It’s about a 45min ride in on my mtn bike and I was sort of wishing I could have taken a detour. The wind wasn’t really that bad. And, due to my excessive layering, I was quite warm. The fall leaves were beautiful and wouldn’t you know it, but there WERE birds chirping and deer grazing?! Alas, no fairy-godmother was there waiting for me when I got to work. Someday maybe…