23 September 2008

Evil Wind or . . . A Tale of Two Streets?

This is a story about wind. Not just any wind, mind you. And, it is a story of bike rides. Many bike rides.

Before you get your eyes ready to glaze over, this is not about the physics of wind, nor is it about how wind affects airplanes, as you may have thought.

Nope, this is about bicycling. And irritation. And perseverance.

I cycle for exercise — 10 miles a minimum three times per week. I have also begun throwing in a 15-miler on (some) Sundays. Keeps me out of trouble. And keeps my resting heart rate down in the 50s. I like that.

My usual 10-mile route takes me through City Park, north on York and then east on 26th avenue past City Park Golf Course, and I pedal til I get to Central Park Drive, which is in Stapleton. I make way south and then head west on Montview back to City Park and home.

You're probably wondering, What does any of this have to do with anything? Well, on many occasions, too many to count now, I have observed the most peculiar thing: heading east on 26th, the wind is in my face, and then westbound on Montview the wind is also in my face! So, I have often wondered in amazement (and sometimes irritation) — how the heck can the wind be flowing in opposite directions just 6 blocks apart?? And no, it is NOT due to my speed along the ground. We are talking about actual wind. I have been riding long enough to tell the difference. Plus I can see tree branches waving and litter being blown along the ground.

For example, just yesterday the wind was about 15-18 miles per hour. And it was out of the southeast because I observed that the spray from the Electric Fountain in City Park was being blown toward the northwest. Thus I was not too surprised when I pedaled east on 26th and the wind was slightly in my face. And it was even stronger on my southbound leg to Montview — very difficult pedaling almost directly into the wind.

Heading west on Montview was a complete surprise: the wind was really ripping into my face! "How can this be??" thought I, as I struggled to maintain speed.

Thinking of mechanisms of wind shear or in this case, more likely simple thermal heating and lifting, I guess it doesn't seem impossible. And yet, the number of times I have observed this on my rides leads me to wonder if some greater force is conspiring to make my life difficult. Well, that's just plain silly I tell myself, as I focus on turning my irritation into more forceful pedaling. There MUST be some explanation involving updrafts (it was a sunny, warm day), terrain features, and so on.

I won't relate all the thoughts that zip through my neurons during these curious moments, but I will tell you how I translate them to other areas of my life: when there arise such struggles as this one against the wind, I say to myself "Mike, you MUST keep going. You CANNOT QUIT. No matter how hard it gets, you MUST KEEP GOING."

It's not about making my time or even keeping up speed, but about simply NOT giving up.

And so it also goes with many aspects of life: one must keep at it, keep up the fight, never give in to the forces that seemingly conspire against you, and above all — NEVER QUIT.

And so, just as I turn a struggle on the bike into a dogged determination to keep pedaling, so too do I transform adversity and misfortune into a fierce motivation to see my personal and business goals achieved.

No matter what anybody tells me.

So there.

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