With less than four hours of sleep on Sunday night I opted to not ride on Monday despite Mike’s encouragement to consider the lack of sleep as practice for a 24 hr ride or RAAM. Because of that, I really needed to ride yesterday.
It was going to be hot and windy. I can handle the hot but the wind here in Texas is blowing my mind. It’s blowing every stinking day and we’re not just talking about nice lazy breezes. It’s constantly between 10-20 mph with gusts up to, or over, 25 mph depending on the day. Yesterday was no different. Ridiculous in fact.
I started the ride and I could tell before I had ridden a mile that it just didn’t feel right. I still felt really tired even though I had gotten a good 8 hours the night before. I didn’t feel comfortable in the saddle and felt like I was fighting the bike. I was really hoping it would settle out after a couple of miles. It didn’t. After I made it down the trail to White Rock Lake the wind hit me full force. I was riding in the big ring but having a very hard time maintaining even 14 mph. I eventually had to shift to the small ring and just try to settle into a rhythm. So much for a good hard workout. The wind was a little better on the other side of the lake because it was on my quarter but I was still really struggling. It was at this point I decided I would only do 15 miles instead of 25. I just didn’t think I could do the extra ten.
With about three miles left in the loop around the lake, before I take the trail back to my car, a guy pulls up next to me and says, “What’s up with the #$!*ing wind?” First off, I was very surprised somebody pulled up next to me and started talking. That’s only happened one other time. Second, I couldn’t have agreed more.
After a brief two sentence conversation with the other rider I found out his true intentions. He was really just slowing down so that he could slide into a spot next to the girl who had just passed me about a minute before. I can’t say that I blame him (she was drop-dead gorgeous) (my wife would agree with me).That brings up the whole question about guys and ladies cycling and whether or not you can actually be successful in picking up a person of the opposite sex while out cycling. I think though, that it would be most likely guys trying to pick up girls and not the other way around. I’ve been wrong before though. I’m married, and don’t have to worry about any of this, but that whole scenario is interesting. Would a girl out cycling be even remotely interested in a guy rolling up next to her and trying to strike up a conversation? I’m thinking that if she’s out there riding, especially if it’s on a decked out TT bike I see some of the girls on, then the answer would be no. She’s more interested in her workout. On the other hand, maybe some of the girls out riding would welcome the the advances of a guy that’s in shape and sports quads the size of Godzilla and calves the size of Cycling Tips’.
How did our guy above make out? Not too good I think. I saw her heading around for another loop of the lake (which goes to tell you what kind of shape she was in by riding another loop in the wind and heat, or, more likely, it just tells you what kind of pathetic shape I’m in) as I headed for the trail back to my car and she was riding alone. I guess she told him to shove off or maybe she gave him the old pump into the spokes treatment like in Breaking Away.
Sorry, way off track there.
Seriously, the wind here has got me perplexed and worried. I grew up only 2 hours from here and don’t, ever, remember consistent wind like this. Maybe a 100 miles can make that big a difference. I don’t know. I’m worried about the century I’m riding in late September. If the wind is going to be like this I think I’m going to have a hard time. I’m guessing the only thing I can do is to continue riding in it, and up the hills, to get accustomed to it.
There were plenty of other cyclists out yesterday and none of them really seemed to be struggly with the wind like I was. I was consistently getting passed by folks (guys and chicks) just churning out the cadence like there was no wind at all. Maybe I should strap a wind turbine to my back. I was very surprised to see that I averaged 14.6 mph for the 15 miles. I expected something in the 13 mph range.