Monday, May 9, 2011

Into the Wind….

Botanists say that trees need the powerful March winds to flex their trunks and main branches, so the sap is drawn up to nourish the budding leaves. Perhaps we need the gales of life in the same way, though we dislike enduring them.
--Jane Truax

Last Saturday, before heading up to Napa for the Tour de Cure, my buddy Tracy and I headed out to do the “zoo loop”. This loop is a nice local 26 mile circle with about 2300ft of climbing.

We started out heading north on Redwood Rd into a pretty stiff headwind. The first portion of the ride contains about half of the total climbing for the loop and there’s nothing quite as much fun as riding uphill into a headwind.

The strange part was that even after reaching Skyline and with our direction now almost due south, we were still riding in to a headwind. And again later as we headed east on Lake Chabot Rd we were STILL going in to the wind….how is it possible to do a 26 mile loop and be riding in to the wind the entire time???

This past Saturday, Tracy and I again headed out into the wind. We did a 77 mile loop that included about 4300ft of climbing. Once again, there’s nothing quite as much fun as riding uphill into a headwind.

The worst of it was towards the end of the ride. As you come back in to Fremont from Milpitas, you turn from Warm Springs on to Mission Bl. and there’s a 2 ½ mile section that is uphill. Granted, it’s not a steep uphill, just a long grind from Warm Springs up to Ohlone College that averages about 4% where you gain about 300ft.

Of course when you add in the fact that there was a strong headwind AND we had already done about 65 miles, this became the point for me where I was no longer having fun. The point where, as the poet quoted above puts it, I need the gales of life, but I dislike enduring them….

A famous Greek proverb states that “He who suffers much will know much” and after riding these past couple of Saturdays I do feel like I know something…..I know I hate the wind….


Struggling with Duality said...

Thanks for the education on tree sap - that's cool.
Strangely, I did not notice the gentle breezes you mentioned - must have been in my happy place!!

OldNSlo said...

gentle breezes???? At one point a cross wind hit me and moved me over about 3 feet!