Thursday, December 31, 2009

Windy windy windy windy windy

Another day, another ride. How nice is that?

Before heading out I turned on the TV long enough to check the temperature. It was a balmy 50 degrees out. Not bad. I got kitted out and then headed out to the garage to put air in my tires, got hit by a blast of wind and immediately went back inside to put on more clothes.

It turns out that there is 50 degrees and then there is 50 degrees. I hadn’t checked the wind speed when I had checked the temperature, and, since the wind was blowing at 16 to 24 mph, it made a difference. Change the gloves for heavier ones, change the hat for one with ear flaps, add booties and a vest and then hit the road. It was still cold, but that was okay.

It was one of those days where, in the crosswind, your bike leans heavily to one side, in the headwind you ride like you’re Marley’s ghost wrapped in heavy chains and in the tailwind you fly along at a blistering pace. (There’s my Christmas reference for you.)

(Once, after having ridden in a thirty mile an hour wind – the cables on my bike were singing – I headed to the bike shop and talked about the ride with Steve. It turns out I had averaged nearly 18 mph that day. A customer overheard us talking and expressed amazement. Steve explained that I had probably ridden half the ride at 6 mph and half at 30 mph depending on whether I was headed into the wind or riding with it. That was probably about right, too. Steve knows.)

Most of the cars were really quite polite today. I did see one car – a white sports car begin driven by a young man in an orange hoodie. He was either very short or was slumped down so that nothing below his nose was visible above the steering wheel, and the hood of his sweatshirt was over his head and pulled almost down to his eyes.

That’s not suspicious at all.

I got pursued by a very hopeful brown and white dog, and the dog had reason to be hopeful since the evidence indicates that it could have had me for lunch any time it desired. It bounced at me and ran at me repeatedly, cannily blocking my path as much as possible, undaunted by shouts from me and squirts from my water bottle. I finally got away from it, but I admit to having a handful of rocks as I passed by on my way back home. The dog was chained up at that point. This is more regard than I am used to from dog owners, I have to admit. I can remember one time when a dog owner told him dog, “Get ‘em, boy!”

Here are some ways to tell if it is windy.

If you turn a corner and your speed suddenly drops by eight or ten miles per hour even though the road is still flat, it’s probably windy.

If you coast downhill and find yourself losing speed, it’s probably windy.

If you turn around and suddenly gain five mph with no extra effort, it’s probably windy.

If your vest, which you thought more or less fit you okay, suddenly turns into a drag chute, it’s probably windy.

But, you know what? At least you’re out riding, so good for you.

See you on the road.

No comments:

Post a Comment