Riding in the wind …


Wind. Grrrrrrr …

This past week it has been windy. 35-40 kph with gusts even harder. Winds so strong you feel like you aren’t moving, or are going to be pushed over. These winds always originate from the west, and I have no choice but to cycle either west or east. I have no way to avoid them.

This is great weather for kite boarders, but near impossible for cyclists.

Chas: “We did it. We do it all the time. What are you talking about?”

Well, some cyclists. I look upon the wind as a challenge. An adventure. I head out into the wind, so I have help on the way back. I gear down, tuck low and pedal in a steady, rhythmic cadence. If I get to 20 kph that’s fast. At times, it feels like a long, steep climb. I have 25 km into the wind to the big lake, and then 25 km back reaching speeds of 40-45 kph without much effort. Faster if I push.

Chas: “Hey, it’s not about how fast you go. It’s the ride. Remember?”

Lou: “I don’t like it when I don’t go fast. I don’t do slow.”

I used to hate the wind. I can’t say I like it, but I don’t mind it. At least I don’t mind if I know I can turn around and have a helping wind on the way home. If I had to battle it all day long, I might feel differently. And, it is easier with a group. The larger the better. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury here.

I’ve learned that cycling into a strong wind is a skill like climbing, descending, and cornering. And, in some ways, it is more mental than physical. It tests your metal. You need to practice. The more you do it, the tougher you become. Learn to gear down, get on the drops, bend your elbows, tuck them in, keep you head still, don’t wear a baggy jacket (like I did today), pedal downhill (that’s not the time to rest), and stay positive.

Chas: “I don’t mind it. I really can’t feel the difference. Wind. No wind. It’s all the same to me.”

The more I do it, the better I become, and the more I enjoy it.

Lou: “Practice with Chas. Take me on the climbs. And the descents.”

12 thoughts on “Riding in the wind …

  1. You reminded me of my most cherished moments in Brighton, when I used to ride along the seafront and under the cliffs. It was nearly always windy and sometimes uncomfortable but oh how much I miss those times of escape and reflection.

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