I am the first one to feign depression when the end of summer approaches. I start mourning the loss of riding in short sleeves, shorts, helmet with nothing underneath….you know what I mean. Fall signals the beginning of a slippery slope into winter, and winter here in Montreal means riding indoors. Not so much fun.
But enough with the negative outlook. After the first fall ride I am reminded how beautiful this time of year is and how awesome it is to ride in. The heat that drains you has abated, the air smells unbelievable, the colours of the trees are breathtaking and ok, you have to dress up a bit, but you’re still in the great outdoors. In summary, it is one of the best times of the year to be riding outside.
There’s plenty of riding to be done too, as long as you schedule yourself inbetween the hurricane winds and showers that are both plentiful during this season. The wind is fine. I like the challenge of driving hard into the wind on the out run, knowing the whole way that you have a sweet ride back with the push all the way. The rain is a different story altogether, and whereas I have no problem getting caught out in a shower, I seldom if ever leave for a ride in the rain. I mean, what’s the point really?
All that to say the past week I have managed to get a couple of brilliant autumn rides in, so plenty of wind and thankfully light on the moisture. I don’t know whether I have made mention of this before, but we’re fortunate where we live here, because we can check the wind direction prior to leaving and then select from a number of pretty stunning options depending on the desired level of pain. For example, today the wind was from the SW and at quite a clip (24 km/h with gusts over 40 km/h). Knowing this I determined that I’d rather get the bulk of the suffering out of the way first, so I head west along the Lakeshore all the way out to Set-Anne-de-Bellevue and endure the headwind for close to 17 km. No matter though, because the whole way you are imagining the awesome ride back through gritted teeth. You know it’s coming and you know it is going to feel brilliant to be ‘flying’ along with the vehicular traffic. I love the look on some people’s faces as you pull up along side them on the road as the traffic moves along at 40 km/h. They often have to do a double take.
I didn’t get that today though. For some off reason the advantage of the cross-tail wind on the way home was not as evident as the disadvantage of the headwind had been on the way out. I am not sure whether the wind changed direction slightly, or I was just tired. Either way, it was a quicker return trip but not without some burn.
Not to worry. The views were worth it.