It's a Tempestuous Day in the Neighborhood...

Smug /sməg/ adj. - Having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements. e.g. We were smug in the knowledge that we'd accurately gauged that very narrow window between "too cold" and "too windy" and had shoved our bike through it to get in a very pleasant twenty-mile ride.

As I type this, we're experiencing red flag wind conditions (20 mph, gusting to 35), with areas of blowing dust (and tumbleweeds). The winds have been in the weather forecast for almost a week, and we had written off any chance for our regular Saturday bike ride. But when the winds were still relatively calm after breakfast, we decided to take a chance and see if we could beat the forecasted weather front.

We didn't so much beat the wind as we outsmarted it (what is the IQ of energized air molecules, anyway?). We rode out in the direction that we thought the wind would eventually be blowing, and by the time we reached our turnaround point, we had a healthy tailwind. So, not only was the wind not a factor going out, it was actually beneficial coming back, at least until the last few blocks.

At one point, we were riding on smooth new asphalt, cruising easily at 20 mph, and still failing to overtake the swirling eddies of wind-driven sand (this is the place where I'd normally write something witty like "...and Swirling Eddies would be a great name for a rock band" but somebody already beat me to it) roused from the adjacent pasture.

We don't have hills around Midland, unless you count overpasses, which are just as well referred to as "suicide delivery mechanisms" given the traffic around here. Riding in the West Texas wind is a pretty good substitute for hill training, though. The downside is that the blowing dirt is not exactly conducive to healthy respiration. (See also Coccidioidomycosis, or the results of my PET scan.) And with all the construction going on around our city, blowing dirt is an almost daily occurrence.

But, after decades of living here, it's just something you adjust to while giving thanks that you're still able to get out and pedal a bike for twenty miles with your loving and lovely spouse.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on March 23, 2013 2:58 PM.

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