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Wednesday, July 13, 2011
day 12, on wind
It's about an hour and a half into the morning ride when you notice the air has lost the chill it had when you first started out. It's not quite the feeling of being caught in a hairdryer. That will come later in the afternoon. Right now, the wind is a dull warmth pressing against you more firmly with each pedal.stroke as you make your way along State Road 4. The tall, reedy grass seems to bend toward you, suggesting an easy, tired stretch and a shrug: "Bit of a breeze today." You can hear yourself breathing now. The cornstalks don't budge except for a flutter of the topmost leaves. You consider standing for 25 revolutions to try to catch Aaron and tuck in for a draft, but you're too stubborn for that. You say you don't want it to be easier. You ponder this for awhile - why is a little help such a bad thing? - then you realize you've drifted further behind. You stand for 15 just to make up a little ground. By now, the wind has blurred out all other sounds, so it's hard to hear Aaron when he turns back and says, "How's the wind?" You pause a moment, then say, "Windy," because you are a smartass. He either says nothing in response, or gives you a measured, "Uh huh," then he's slingshotted forward again, or maybe you're just being blown back. You consider clicking down a gear so you can spin faster, but you know that won't give you any more speed. You could also gear down and grind, grasping the low drop bars for maximum power. That always seems more trouble than it's worth too. Ahead, the road tilts up in a way that it's not supposed to in Indiana. You decide to save the lower gear for now.