A Rifftides reader chided me for not writing more often about cycling. My thought is that anyone’s cycling experiences are intensely interesting to himself and that everyone he tells about them will be bored.
However, since I have a new road bike, I don’t mind telling you that I took it out for a ride before supper. It made little sense to ride in a high wind, but sense and road cycling frequently part company. The manufacturer’s sales blurb for the bike claims:
This great roadster boasts Mavic’s Ksyrium Equipe wheels, too, which cheat the wind for free speed and are built to last.
I could have used a little more of Mavic’s wind cheating. I was cranking uphill against a 25-mile-an-hour west wind that became a north wind and stayed in my face when I turned at the intersection of two orchard country roads at the top of a steep hill. The hill sweeps down for half a mile to the valley floor. Fighting the gale, but with gravity on my side, I pedaled furiously down and gave a banshee whoop when, in spite of Aeolus’s interference, the speedometer registered 36 miles an hour. As I coasted to a hesitation for the four-way stop at the next intersection, a man pulled up beside me in a pickup truck and yelled with some heat, “What are you, nuts?”
I grinned. Then he shrugged and grinned, too, and we went on our ways.