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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Riding Against The Wind

Against the wind,
I'm still running against the wind.
I'm older now,
But still running against the wind.

Against The Wind, Bob Seger (1980)

Life requires adversity. 

Over 30 years ago, a privately funded group built BioSphere 2, a three acre structure designed to study the viability of sustaining human life within an artificial, materially enclosed ecological system. In this tightly controlled environment, trees grew faster than in nature but collapsed before maturing, to the surprise and consternation of scientists. Eventually, they determined that the trees died prematurely due to lack of wind.

Scientists long understood that trees in nature are moved by winds of unpredictable and variable velocity, direction, frequency and duration. These forces stress the tree, causing it to grow "reaction" wood comprised of different chemical structures that strengthen the load bearing capacity of the tree. Over time, the reaction wood also positions the tree for protection from the wind and to receive the best resources, even if contorted into odd shapes. All trees in nature experience this, to some extent.

BioSphere 2 taught that the complete absence of wind resulted in trees growing too weak to survive long. 

So, the next time you turn your nose into the wind, know that it's not only making you a stronger cyclist. It's offering you the opportunity to be a cyclist.

Life requires adversity.

Against The Wind, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, live (1980)

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