It never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference wind direction makes when you’re riding a bike. Even on days when it’s calm, on a bike you can tell what direction the wind is coming from. If you’re pushing into it, just a slight change in pressure can make it harder to pedal.
Today was one of the days when, even though the wind was blowing steadily from one direction, down on the streets you could hardly tell where it was coming from. One moment you’ll be straining to make headway into the wind, then suddenly it’s at your back. The pattern of buildings and cross streets can play havoc with the winds if they’re blowing off the street directions. Since wind can make such a difference to how easy or hard my ride is going to be, I almost always check the NWS website before I leave on my rides. It just makes me feel better knowing what I’m getting into.
This close connection to the weather and the outdoors is one of the many reasons I love riding. This week I wasn’t able to ride for a couple days in a row, and I realized I had no clue what was going on with the weather. I mean, obviously I could see if it was sunny or not, and I could tell whether it was cold or warm. But I didn’t feel it. I wasn’t tuned into how the wind could indicate what the temperature would be later. Or whether it was going to rain the next day.
It seems that all the time we spend in cars and well lit, well insulated, cooled or heated spaces has broken our connection with the world around us. There was a time when most everyone would have a decent idea of what the weather was going to do based on the wind or the clouds. There’s a reason why the ancient festivals (and even the ones we still celebrate) were tied into the changing seasons. Our ancestors were so plugged into the world around them that even without our sophisticated tools they knew exactly when the seasons changed.
It seems a shame to me that we’ve lost that connection. And I’m glad that by riding my bike to work every day I can experience a little of what that was like.
Entry filed under: weather.