Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Bicycling has aways been one of my favorite activities. I loved biking in Pennsylvania. I miss the rails-to-trails, the challenge of cranking up the big hills, and the thrill of flying down them. Biking in SWLA has its advantages, as well. For one thing, it's easy to bike year around here. More or less. Spring and fall are, of course, the best seasons. In the summer, one has to start early enough or wait late enough so that it's not too hot. In the winter, you have to wait till late morning or afternoon when the sun finally chases away the chill. The terrain here is certainly easy; it couldn't be any flatter. There are miles and miles of quiet country roads to get lost on. And there are challenges. One is dodging roadkill, primarily armadillos, opossums, and snakes. The other more formidable foe is frequent headwinds. Imagine pedaling with all your might, only to feel like you're being pushed backwards. Of course, if there's a headwind, there must also be a tailwind. Depends on which direction you're riding, and from which direction the wind is blowing. Unlike in Pa., where the wind almost always blows from the west, Louisiana breezes blow from any direction, sometimes at the same time. Tailwinds are a biker's best friend. They make me feel like super-biker, effortlessly powering down the road at high speeds, especially if they sneak up and catch me unaware. But sooner or later, usually after 30 minutes, I must turn around and head home. Right into a brick wall. Like I said, I miss the hills. At least once I got to the top, I could coast back down to the bottom.