Friday, November 6, 2009

Huffin' and a puffin'

15 Miles
70 degrees
39 mph winds

It was 70 degrees during lunch today. Perfect day for riding, right? WRONG! It was so windy I struggled to keep the bike upright. I had the road bike today so I couldn't even tuck into a park and ride sheltered from the wind by the trees. I decided to ride into the wind so I'd have an easier time coming back. I took some roads that I thought would give me cover from the wind because of trees and hills and such. It helped some. Riding into the wind wasn't too bad. I sure thought it was at the time because of how slow I was moving but I quickly discovered that gusty crosswinds at that magnitude were much worse than any headwind I've ever encountered. I had to lean so far into the wind, that when I finally got a reprieve I'd swerve erratically into the road or shoulder. After recovering I'd get hit with another gust that would just about knock me off the bike until I could lean back into the wind. See a vicious cycle forming here?

I fought the cross winds until it was time to turn around but at that point I was in the foothills, which was a little more protected, and wanted to keep going. I pedaled on until I got to the Briarwood Golf Course and decided that I'd gone far enough. When I turned around though I realized that crosswinds were much stronger on the other side of the street. Going up the street I was somewhat sheltered by the negative pressure on the leeward side of the hill but coming down the street I'd moved out far enough that I was getting the full force of the winds. It was a rough ride back.

I eventually turned to go back into town with the wind at my back. It was awesome. I flew down Montana Ave. with very little effort and was able to keep up with traffic. I topped out at 34 mph on a flat with that tail wind. I'm glad that part worked out as planned.

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