Friday, January 21, 2011

Waving Flag of Doom

This picture has nothing to do with this post. I just like it. It depicts Descartes opining on the notion that "Steel is Real". Now, to our regularly unscheduled program...

As Friday afternoon rolls by and work proceeds, I've been sneaking peeks at the waving flag outside my office window. The brisk wind that blew me in to work has stubbornly refused to turn around and push me back home. It is -11C right now and likely cooling. I think I'm finally going to need to cover my whole face with my balaclava.

This is not me. Or my balaclava.

If you ever need to know which way the wind is blowing, ask a cyclist. They will be happy to tell you tales of headwinds, tailwinds or crosswinds experienced in your town that very day.

That reminds me of one other bonus about riding in winter. When you aren't sure of the wind direction and you are outside, you don't have to find a flag or windsock or watch the trees or anything. Just keep on eye on your breath, or any nearby chimney.

A local cyclist who reads my blog and goes by "Skyers" commutes in the opposite direction I do here in London. I guess it is just as well that the wind has remained the same, because if I got my wish for a tailwind both ways, he would have been totally screwed over. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It seems to me that Mother Nature can be tricky enough without my selfish wishes adding to the mess.

Yer Pal,


Steve A said...

I'm fortunate. My new commute usually has a morning tail wind when the days are coldest. Maybe that's partly why I'm bemoaning the passing of the year's coldest week.

jeff said...

You never have the wind with you - either it is against you or you're having a good day. ~Daniel Behrman, The Man Who Loved Bicycles

Anonymous said...

I bet the guy in the picture would like my New Arm Warmers Made From Old Socks.

RANTWICK said...

Steve - Yeah, I read that bemoaning. Huh.

jeff - I love that one.

PaddyAnne - I have no doubt.

Oldfool said...

I find riding a bicycle a lot like sailing. You can tell where your destination is by where the wind is coming from.

christopheru said...

Today was a good one for weather though over all. Over in Kitchener-Waterloo, it was a bit crisp I will grant you - about -12 - and windy like mad, but the ride in was so very peaceful. Coming home was not so bad either until the last bit of the journey where I was fully exposed to the west wind. Ouch. That was a bit crisp! An added bonus is the looks I get at work which imply I am crazy. I usually respond that I see so many miserable drivers stuck in traffic and I am happy so who is the crazy one really? No one thus far has been able to answer that one and everyone has looked thoughtful:)

RANTWICK said...

christopheru - I'm sorry, but I have bad news. You are crazy. I am crazy. Riding a bike in subzero does not make normal people happy. It makes crazy people happy.

If happiness is the goal, we are having success in finding some on the road where others do not. But we are crazy.

christopheru said...

Whew. Good. For a minute there I thought I was not crazy. Good to get that affirmed.

Skyers said...

Yes the ride home was much better than the ride in. I was thinkin about you and how your face must be frozen if you dont wear somthing to cover it.

I have a question for you and your readers.
How many flags do you get to see on your commute?
I only see 4 Canada Flags.
This means I am usually about 2km into my 10 k ride before I get visual evidence of the wind direction.
I expect that the numbers will be much higher for your American readers.

RANTWICK said...

Skyers - Oh, I cover my face when it is like that... my balaclava is the type you can pull open under your chin, or cover cheeks mouth and nose if needed, which I did.

My flag count is 3 (I think), all of which are close to work. I bet your're right about the Americans... they are much more flag flyin'

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