We have been on the road for a month now, happy anniversary to us. We gave each other the gift of headwinds, a common occurrence for the past month.
I will state again, having a conversation about the weather is vapid, except when it materially affects your life. Traveling through west Texas, the southern part of New Mexico, and most recently eastern Arizona, when asked, people know what the weather forecast is and of equal import what direction the wind will be blowing.
In the wide-open spaces, the weather and the wind can affect the work that can be done, the water needed for crops, livestock, etc.
For us, headwinds have added several hours of riding time per day to achieve the desired stopping point. To put it another way, the winds have reduced our average speed by 2 to 4 miles per hour (3.2 to 6.4 kmph). This may seem like a nominal amount but when you put in 5 to 7 hours a day in the saddle, this equates to either being robbed of 15 to 20 miles of distance or an added hour or two on the bike.
As a small piece of advice, let me state, in no uncertain terms, DO NOT travel east to west on the Adventure Cycling Southern Tier route. The winds will make the journey miserable. Both of us are so glad we are turning north after Phoenix, Arizona.
At this point I can hear a chorus of readers saying, “Wah, wah, wah. Cry me a river. The winds are making your lives so difficult. Get a job and a haircut hippie.”
Sucking up a headwind is still better than a day at the office pounding on a spreadsheet. With a headwind I’m free to have a touch of Tourette’s, whereas I might disturb my fellow cubicle dwellers if I were to launch into a similar tirade in the office. On the occasions that a profanity-laden rant did happen at work, I would claim that I had a rare form of Narcoleptic Tourette’s and promptly fall asleep before ending the explanation filled with vile oaths and curses.
Try it at work sometime, works like a charm.
So the short of it is that it does not suck to get blown and still make slow forward progress when the alternative is to suck up and get stuck on the hamster wheel at work and progress nowhere.
Unfortunately, both cases can lead to sore knees.
Speaking of work, you had probably get back to it. But here are some pretty pictures from our first day in Arizona.