Sunday, January 17, 2010

Heels Over Headwinds

On the sweltering days of summer back in Pittsburgh, we always used to say, “It’s not the heat, it’ s the humidity.”

When I lived in San Francisco in the early 80s, during the rare SF heat wave, my friend Brooke was regularly quoted as saying “It’s not the heat, it’s the homosexuals.” (It was funny then, and especially because Brooke himself was gay.)

Here in Seattle, during these chilly days of winter, the analogue is something like, “It’s not the rain, it’ s the headwind.” (That was a long way to go for so little, but in any case, it’s true.)

I don’t mind so much getting soaked on my bike—especially during the ride home; after all, I’ve got lots of gear that—although it’s really begun to smell like cheese after being damp for so long—keeps me reasonably dry and which can be depended upon to keep my ride from being too terribly miserable, at least from the standpoint of the drowned rat.

On the other hand, I’ve got no clothes that keep me from being pushed back against by the headwind that inevitably seems to be working against me in whatever direction I’m headed.

On Thursday’s ride home, for instance, especially during the flat part around Husky Stadium at the UW, I was pedaling with all my might (admittedly, not exactly what you’d call a lot of wattage), but even so, I was practically standing still. It got so bad that I began looking forward to riding uphill, where the wind would be more apt to go over my head than push so powerfully against my chest.

Two more reasons I prefer hills to headwinds:

First, with the former, you can see an end in sight; even the longest hill eventually has a summit.

And second, wind is invisible. I much prefer the challenge I can see to the one I can’t; like Brooke said, give me homos over humidity any day.


Post a Comment

<< Home