‘Is it not a bit windy for biking?’ Chatty Man asked as I blew past him this morning.
‘Not at all, it’s excellent,’ I replied, although as I was going with the wind he may not have heard me. And even had I wanted to, I could not have slowed down…
I was telling no more than the truth, too. As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve got our South Westerlies back – and with a vengeance. This means a headwind out and a tailwind home when heading for Papershop Village, which is best way round. And even on the way out, although it was hard work, there’s something so exhilarating about cycling in a gale – especially when it’s dry and sunny at the same time – that I didn’t mind and my main concern was my glasses blowing off my face, my hat having long since been confined to my bag. There’s a moment when you pick up a tailwind where you seem to drop into your own private pocket of calm – and then there are moments when the wind picks you up and urges you on so that hills disappear beneath your wheels and downhill sections become white knuckle rides where you alternate between ‘help, not sure I can stop if I need to’ and nothing more coherent than ‘wheee!’. There were some corners where I thought I might actually lose connection with the road but the bike stayed rubber side down and that’s about all that counts on a day like today.
I may also have invented a new game, postman teasing. Our normal postie is laid back to the point of horizontality, but occasionally we get a younger substitute who’s in more of a hurry and this morning he made a bit of a meal of passing me (in fairness I was going at about 2mph and probably not in much of a straight line) before pulling in at the next cottage to deliver the post. As I was coming downhill and speeding up, he caught sight of me and sprinted back to his van to get away before I got ahead again.* As there were then 3 more farms and cottages in close succession he then had to sprint in and out of the van at each one if he was going to beat the bike with me doing every impression of a cyclist attempting to overtake him while laughing like a drain until finally he got to an uphill stretch with no houses and was able to get away. Given that he spends most of the morning sat in his wee van, I thought he might like the chance of a bit of exercise for a change on his round… I shall have to see if I can time my ride right again the next time he’s on and see if we can play again.
He may have the last laugh tomorrow though as we’re off to Norn Iron on the ferry. Cycling in a gale is one thing … crossing the Irish Sea is quite another.
*I actually had no intention of passing him but I wasn’t going to let him know that