Bolsover | Day # 14

I did the Lake Dalrymple Loop this morning, a 50 km ride north to the relatively undeveloped lake best known for fishing.  Muskellunge fishing.  The largest member of the Pike family.  A big freshwater fish.

As soon as I hit the rode, I had a strong headwind.  Due north.  I was heading north for 25+ km.  This was going to be a tough ride.  I thought of stopping.  Or, taking another route.  But no.  I wanted to do this ride.  Part of it would be over several rough sections of road where I couldn’t travel quickly anyway.  I persisted.

I am glad I did.  It was more a challenge of the mind and spirit than the legs.  The wind let up some mid-way to the lake and I thought, as difficult as it may be, it is beautiful and, I will have a tailwind coming home.  A tailwind coming home?  Good luck.  Why is it that wind prefers to face me?  How does it know when I am turning around?  It wasn’t an easy ride back either.  At times I struggled to maintain 16-18 kph.

I thought cycling in this area would be easy, that I would be able to work on speed.  There were sections, a few sections, where I was able to wind it up to 35+ kph.  But they were few.  I overlooked that it can be windy here in the fall.  Very windy.  All day.  So, instead of getting faster, I have gotten stronger, more aerodynamic and more efficient.  The short climbs that I do encounter seem easy.  I race up them faster than I can cut through the wind at times.

The interesting thing is that the wind doesn’t bother me.  I expect it.  I enjoy it.  It is a challenge just like a long, steep climb.  Like rain, wind keeps many cyclists off the road.  They don’t enjoy it.  It is hard work battling a persistent, never-ending headwind.  I don’t mind.  It not only builds power in the legs but between the ears as well.  It strengthens a cyclist’s resolve.  We can’t always cycle in ideal conditions and, I would rather ride than sit on the couch.

I have been at the cottage two weeks today.  During that time I have clocked almost 500 km and cycled all of the loops out of the back door that I have enjoyed for years.  They never disappoint.  Challenging.  Quiet.  And, scenic.

I have ten more days left before packing the bike and heading back to Vancouver.

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