It has been windy all week. Incredibly windy. Windy enough that even the mere thought of going bike riding in this wind makes me curl up into a little ball, stuff my fingers in my ears and sing "La la la la" until the feeling goes away.
However, my dear husband really, really wanted to go riding (this is because he really, really wants to get to the mileage limit where we agreed we would get our very own server). So yesterday morning I wondered aloud if perhaps we could take our bikes somewhere else besides the Hometown of Wind Tunnel. He went dashing for his handy book on biking trails in northern California, and before I knew what hit me, we were loading the bikes onto the car and off we drove toward Sacramento to try out the trail that runs along the American River.
The trail begins in Discovery Park, so we parked our car and grabbed our bikes and I tried to pretend that I didn't really notice that it was still pretty windy (although not quite as bad as at home), and off we went.
The first ten miles weren't too bad at all. Occasionally we would hit a little gust or two as we rounded a corner, but otherwise it was a lovely little ride. The path meanders through trees and fields and a particularly pungent marsh, even occasionally offers glimpses of the river itself. There were a few other cyclists along the way, but otherwise the path was mostly ours, and even the random jogger or walker very politely followed the instructions painted on the path and stayed out of our way. I was feeling pretty darn good about this ride. I even contemplated, aloud, that we could come back again this week, since it seemed to be so free from the wind and the traffic.
It wasn't until we turned around at the 10-mile marker that I realized a very important fact. The reason that the wind hadn't seemed so bad on the way out was because it was *behind* us that whole first ten miles. And now we had to do 10 miles back toward where the car was parked, directly into the wind. My nose immediately started running so much that I was almost ready to stuff tissues into both nostrils and breathe through my mouth just to avoid the constant drip.
It only took us about 15 more minutes to get back to the car than it did for us to do the 10 miles out, which meant that the wind was nothing as horrid as it would have been had we been doing this ride closer to home. But I was Not Having Fun, due to the fact that the entire 10 miles back all I could focus on was the fact that my nose was running and getting raw from wiping it and how I really wished that just once we could go riding without have to deal with *some* kind of weather. And by the time we made it back to the car, all I wanted to do was go home and curl up in bed and blow my nose and whine about the ride like the wind wimp that I am.
I am sure, therefore, that it will surprise none of you to know that we went back today. On the plus side, the wind wasn't nearly as bad as it was yesterday (although it was still windy). Plus we decided to follow the trail toward Old Sacramento, where the first few miles were done rather slowly and over cobblestone streets. This was also where my marvelous husband took pity on me and bought me a piece of dark chocolate sea foam from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, just for being such a good sport as to go out riding with him in the wind again.
My butt is sore in a way that no woman should be sore unless she was having one heck of a lot more fun than riding a bike, and my wrists hurt because even though I was trying to be conscious about it and adjust my hand position often, I think I spent most of both rides leaning forward and resting my full weight on my arms. But between the two days, we did 37 miles. And for someone (me) who hasn't done more than 11 miles at a stretch in months due to being on the road (or lazy), this is a very good thing.