In the Teeth

It was one of those classic, New England, omnidirectional headwinds. We’d screamed down the hill to the main drag, my eyes streaming despite my glasses, and my face contorted from the arctic blast. I hoped the 90degree turn at the bottom of the descent would put us out of the teeth of the wind.


We cut over to a path through the trees, and I was sure we’d find shelter there, but again. The question dangled and danced in the air like a plastic shopping bag, “Where isn’t the wind? Where is the wind not?” And like, how do we get there?

Being good New Englanders, we ignored our misfortunes and soldiered on, trying to converse. It is remarkable the way a good conversation will distract you from your suffering. This was working a treat until I realized I couldn’t both breathe and talk. I suggested a slower pace, and my companion readily accepted.

Shimano’s RC-7 road shoe is the direct descendant of the company’s top of the line S-PHYRE range, incorporating most of the S-PHYRE technology but swapping out some materials to hit a lower price point for the more casual rider.

With miles to go (shout out R. Frost), I began to think about the tailwind we were surely earning, which is rather like a castaway dreaming about a roast duck and a Grand Cru. As the dream began to form in my mind, I squelched it quickly. The wind knows what you’re thinking and spins its cruel tricks to break your heart. I chewed another forkful of sand.

To my friend, I said, “Do you think we’re riding directly into it right now? Or is this just 3/4s of it?” And he, reading my mind said, “Are you trying to figure out how much of it might be behind us later?”

The mercury had stalled at 30F and the windchill had us basking in something like 21F, but doing all that work had the furnace well stoked. The biggest challenge was trying to hear what my companion was saying as the gusts roared through my hat and helmet, like we were chit-chatting next to a running helicopter.

Having completed the out-part of our route, we gladly took up the back-part, and yes, the wind finally abated, though still offered some interesting side blasts occasionally. Everything got easier, and this lulled us into a false comfort, such that we opted to cruise right past our own neighborhood “just to bank some more base miles.”

You can see how this turns out, of course, as we then had to make our way back upwind to get home. What a delight! The two of us live at the top of a steep hill, as you might remember from the opening graph here, and so we took it in the teeth once more and then dragged our tired bodies up the climb.

I enjoyed it all thoroughly.

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  1. dr sweets says

    Lovely dental model. However it would fail a dental school screening due to the distortion on the lower anterior. I do not miss the days of taking those kinds of impressions as we’ve done them all digitally for awhile now. That said, I’ve not made the leap to AXS and still run SRAM cable shifting for my rides.

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