Headwinds are humbling. Go ahead and hammer, your power output goes as your speed to the fourth power, . If the wind is blowing at you, you can add that to your speed as well. With headwinds, like bulky trailers, the idea (I think) is to just chill out. I suspect that folks who tour on bikes a lot are really good at this. If your goal is to ride thousands of miles for months on end, you probably have to be careful to chill out. No point in a hammerfest today only to result in a slumberfest tomorrow.
I aspire to tour on my bike, both road and backcountry. I want to go on road trips with boulder pads as well. I want to live a life on bikes without a car and live it without sacrifice. This doesn’t mean I won’t ride in cars. I’m happy to tag along on an adventure someone else is driving to anyways, I’ll chip in gas and enjoy the company. I just don’t want to be held back.
Headwinds are patient teachers. You struggle against them and they calmly place their hands on your head and stop you. They are not hills to be crested and ridden down, they are not stretches of dirt road. They are boundless and sometimes, oddly enough, they blow from every damned direction.
Seen this way, I look forward, begrudgingly, to headwinds in the same way I look forward to subzero temperatures and rain. This is a chance for me to figure out something about cycling. I want to learn it all. I can tell you that I’ve figured out how to ride on a still summer day when it’s 75 degrees out and sunny on smooth asphalt through a country side of rolling hills on a beautiful training loop. Yep, got that, it’s a blast. But I’m not taking the cycling correspondence course. I’m in it for the long haul. I want degrees, graduate degrees, post doctoral work in this subject. I want to ride bikes like the postal service delivers mail: in all conditions. I’ll do it one better though. I’ll ride on Sundays.
So take to the headwinds. Let them batter you and humble you. Feel your helplessness and embrace it, downshift and spin your way to happiness in a situation where it can be hard to find sometimes.