I remember in elementary school art class, our first assignment was to "draw the wind." The class was divided in their interpretation: Half drew an old man with long gray hair floating up in the sky and blowing gray swirly clouds; the other half drew trees swaying. I was one of the few who drew something weird - I think it was little animals running for cover amidst fallen flowers. The teacher wasn't pleased at all with my creativity and told me to look at the other children's pictures. But I never did get the hang of it.
Today I came close to crashing on my bike, and it was all the wind's fault. Well no, it was my fault. But it happened because it was windy. I was riding my roadbike alone and practicing leaning on turns, when suddenly a strong gust of wind blew in the direction of my lean. It had not occurred to me that such a thing could happen, but of course there is no reason it can't. It was an alarming sensation, as if someone was maliciously shoving me, trying to topple me on a turn. I was already leaning, and the gust of wind made the lean feel out of control.
Naturally, I panicked and tried to straighten the bike - in the middle of the turn, while simultaneously braking. As a result the bike became unstable, and then all I could think to do was attempt to bring it to an abrupt stop without letting it fall. I hit the brakes and came off the saddle at an awkward angle, holding on to the handlebars tightly and managing to keep the bike upright. Overall it was fine, except as my left foot landed on the ground, my right foot remained on the pedal and I twisted my ankle slightly. It's not swollen, but it hurts a little. Damn.
Of all the ways I could injure myself on a bike, it figures that it would be something ridiculous like this. Why did I have to panic and get all squirrely? Until today I haven't had that sort reaction in a long time. I guess what scared me is that the situation was entirely new. I know at this point how to right a bike if the front wheel hits a pothole, if another cyclist hits me with their elbow as they pass, or if I need to swerve around an obstacle. But the wind pushing me into a lean was unexpected and I didn't know what to do. In retrospect I should have just gone with it - I don't think the wind was strong enough to actually push me all the way to the ground. But of course that's easy to say now. Well, I hope my ankle is okay and I can ride tomorrow. I am trying to figure out what lesson there is to be learned from this, but more than anything I am just super annoyed at myself. And the wind.