Winston Churchill said that. I have just completed an incredible book by his last surviving daughter, Mary Soames, which documents her life from birth to the end of World War II. Winston was a huge influence on her life, as one, might imagine, and they were very close. I have always loved his quotes, finding him to be both very witty, in that causticly dry British way, as well as inspirational.
Why this quote then? What relevance does it have to my little world focused on cycling here? I interpret this to mean that the harder road typically yields the most reward. In cycling terms and more specifically in terms of the wind’s role in all of this, riding into a strong headwind is hard work, painful, exhausting and stressful. But it feels good. It’s the good kind of hurt. You force yourself to beat it. You rise against the wind.
The past couple of days have been extremely windy in fact. I suppose it’s some of the leftovers from some hurricane that is causing untold damage and suffering somewhere else on the continent. Thursday’s ride back commuting on the fixed gear was tough. Without the luxury of gears you have no choice but to grind on. The feeling of impotence is impossible to ignore. The wind is strong, and my average speed on that trip home was just over 25 km/h, the speed dropping to 22 km/h on occasion when totally exposed to the elements and no shelter from the trees.
The wind continued to howl through the evening on Thursday and into the night. I was reading in bed, the windows were all open, and the blowing curtains were accompanied by the sound of the wind charging through the leaves outside. Love that sound. Truly conducive to a good night’s sleep. Which was what I needed given that there were still heavy winds Friday when I took the Marinoni out for a 40+ km spin out to Senneville and back.
This weekend will be a little easier on the legs, and so perhaps less rewarding! The wind has dropped and the sun is still out. We’re starting September, I can’t believe it, and it feels like July. Long, gentle fall? I hope so!