Darryl vs The Wind
The battle stems back to when I first took up waterskiing. That was over 20 years ago, so this fighting goes back a couple decades. The ongoing combat, of course, is with my opponent “The Wind”. My arch rival, my nemesis, my fiercest adversary.
Growing up in Saskatchewan you learn to deal with a lot of different things….one of them definitely being the weather. Being a vast, and extremely flat Province, means that the wind has nowhere to go but to breeze right across (and through you, sometimes).
I guess it’s my fault, but the only two sporting loves I’ve ever had are much better off without this nasty opponent. I really should have taken up sailing, kite surfing, or some other form of wind friendly activity. But you can’t hide from love, and for this I have learned to deal with it.
Back when I was a waterskier I grew to absolutely love the look and feel of a glass calm lake. To this day, I still get butterflies when I witness it. No wind and the ability to get out there and shred up the calm water was the best feeling there was.
I gave up water sports over seven years ago and very happily replaced it with cycling. When I first took up road cycling, I was living in the Caribbean and the wind was not often a major factor. Then I moved to Austin, Texas and although they had their windy days, it was still nothing compared to those Prairie Winds. For the past couple years I have rekindled my battle with the wind….and oh how fierce it can be some days. The wind will throw a mean gust, nearly knocking me off my bike. I’ll retaliate with my improved leg strength and say “come on, is that all you’ve got?” Then a Semi Truck will pass by towards me with its wind-packed force, surely to make me feel like I just got clobbered, but I grab my handlebars with all I’ve got, duck my head, and just keep on pedaling.
It doesn’t blow like a hurricane every day, and when it’s calm the riding feels just that much more incredible. But I’d say at least half of the days I’m out riding requires finding ways to maneuver around a direct hit with a 18, 20, and sometimes 30+ kph wind. The fight continues, but seeing as I continue to get back out there each and every time….I know that I’ve already won. And on those days when I cycle past a glass calm pond, the butterflies awaken and it feels so good knowing that I’ve K.O.’d my nemesis for at least one day.