I've only gone for one ride so far this year, and it was a short one. Last weekend I rode down to the gas station and filled the tires, then I came straight back. I wanted to ride more but it so windy, and the air was so chilly that it blew right through my clothes. I brought the bike home right away and put it back in it's spot on the balcony for another week.
Yesterday though I was determined to ride further. I went out to see my bike and saw that the last ride did nothing to shake loose the coating of dust caused by a long winter outside. Despite that it was even windier than last weekend I set out to the car wash. I washed off the dust and grime and then I oiled the chain and the gears. When I pulled back on to the street my bike felt solid and smooth. It was like it was brand new again. I decided to ride to the university but I didn't make it that far. Eric and I have an old gypsy curse - 'nothing but wind', and it was in full force. To get to the university I had two directions to go in - north and west - and true to the curse, either way I chose, the wind was against me. It was frustrating enough when I had some sort of cover from buildings and houses, but when I started riding along the fields between 14th and College Drive the wind was too much. The dust blowing off the field sometimes forced me to close one or both of my eyes at times. Before long I felt my face was starting to sting from wind burn. It was my first real bike ride of the year and I pretty much hated it.
I gave up. I hung a left and immediately the struggle was over. The wind blew me down the next few blocks and I don't know if I had to pedal at all. When I turned on to 8th Street I was a little nervous because I hadn't been in traffic on my bike in years. With the wind on my back though it was as easy as driving a car. I even passed a couple cars as I sped down the hill near the Acadia Drive Tim Horton's. By the time I got home my awful bike ride had turned into a great one. All that effort and struggling in the beginning was very difficult, but it was all worth it considering that it made it so I could literally coast through the ride home.