Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Wind, two wheels balanced

As the calendar inches closer to spring, I hope for more decent days for riding. After all, I need to get many more miles under my wheels before the temperature and daylight cooperate to allow me to commute to work on my bike once more. Today the temperature was more than acceptable, in the mid-30s. The problem was the wind. I could hear it howling outside, but my purple bike insisted on riding. (Yes, as usual you're right, it was really my decision!)

I managed a 25-mile ride, and while I knew the wind was there, it was only in the last 5 miles where it really began to get in the way. I rode a series of loops so it wasn't a case of having the wind at my back for the first half of the ride and in my face for the second half. It was more a mixed tailwind to sidewind to headwind kind of day. It almost got the better of me though...

I was riding at a slight uphill grade when the wind really kicked up. In fact, it pretty much stopped me in my tracks. I quickly went from a decent pace to almost a dead stop. Those seconds seemed like minutes, but I'm sure that they were seconds. As I came to that screeching stop, I was right at an intersection, and I started to turn. As I moved around that corner, I quickly realized that the wind was now pushing directly at my side. There was what seemed like a very long instance where I was sure that I was going down. Luckily I use pedals - Speedplay Frogs - that require no pressure to release, just a quick twist and a lift of my foot, and I was saved a slow-motion fall. Ah, I hope tomorrow's weather brings a little bit less wind.

Today's wind really reminded me of the day that I fought the wind during my tour of Prince Edward Island last year. I actually had to push my bike across a bridge (yes, I really was walking) - the wind was so strong that I couldn't ride it! I guess I'm pretty lucky that the wind didn't push me over today, and that even though I had to revert to traveling by foot that I made it across that bridge too!

Are you in charge of the wind? Are you the one who made those few seconds slide by so slowly as I convinced my bike that it was a good thing to remain upright?