Riding in the desert in the mornings is cool, peaceful and inspiring. The miles click by steadily and easily. The past morning I climbed 20 miles uphill at a constant grade to reach the Continental Divide. I’ve ridden through colored canyons and crossed spectacular desert landscapes. I breath easy, and reflect with gratitude that I am nearly 2000 miles into this journey.
Then, by mid day the headwinds arrive–not your easy roll along headwinds–but the 25 – 30 mph headwinds that buffet and push and pull. I’ve done some research and the belief that wind can affect our emotions and moods has been around for millennia. It goes all the way back to the Greeks, who named the winds. The research says that strong winds produce positive ions that stimulate an overproduction of serotonin resulting in allergies and irritability. They also trigger adrenalin production, which can produce hyperactivity and inevitable crash into listlessness. All I can say is the head winds have made me crazy the last couple of days. I’m physically strong enough, now, to power through, I have no feet or allergy issues-like I did initially in Illinois–, but the wind zaps my strength, and more importantly my focus. It makes me feel unbalanced. It makes me feel like I’m riding a tandem. Upfront is the strong rider me, and behind me, is an irritable 3 year old, flailing about, having a tantrum and questioning why we are riding in the wind. I know letting in thoughts of “why are you riding” is the death knell for a cycling day. With the wind, I haven’t been able to shake it–to keep these thoughts out. It is making me crazy. And, doesn’t seem to be affecting Robin the same way.
And I ride on…