Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The windiest ride to date

It was so windy out there today that I debated if it was safe or not. Eventually I decided to go since it wasn't actually cold out, and if I had to I could always turn around. It was one of the scariest experiences to date on my bike.

How windy was it? I've never been pushed around like that on the bike before. I've never felt the wind turn the front wheel to go down wind. I've never ridden in a cross wind that had me leaning over like I was going around a corner. From how it felt on the way back, I'm guessing it was at least 30 to 40 Kph, with some much stronger gusts.

Normally it takes me 20 to 23 minutes to get to highway 22X at the start of my ride. I take it easy and treat it like a warm up. Today it took 28 minutes. It has never ever taken that long, and I was working fairly hard. I continued on down the Road to Nepal, and scared the crap out of myself. Down the first hill is usually 65 Kph, and often faster. I could barely get past 40 Kph. Even so, I got blown into the middle of the road once. Good thing there was no traffic.

I turned around at the hour mark, about half way up the long hill. I explored a bit of an acreage with some swanky semi-country homes, then headed back. Back was quicker. It only took 40 minutes to get back, but it wasn't much less scary, since the wind was still shifting around. Overall my heart rate was quite low throughout the ride, even though I was breathing fairly hard, and working much harder than normal.

The treat on the way home was seeing 3 real live buffalo in a field just beside the road. With a fence I wouldn't use for sheep. The male was HUGE! You just don't get the full sense of their size and implacable nature from pictures. It looked like it could walk through the fence and not even notice.

Took a 4 minute transition, then briskly walked 6 minutes, then ran easy for 15 minutes, then walked another 5. Then spent between 30 and 45 minutes on core. Call it 30. The last set of planks was getting pretty sloppy.

Outdoor riding weather is coming to it's close pretty quick. There is snow in the forecast for Sunday, and the rest of the week is getting down to more seasonal temperatures.


  1. Man, I'm with you, brother. Thought I was going to get blown right over on me arse. Oh well. I keep telling myself - you just don't know what it'll be like on race day and try to suck it up. Still stinks, though. Yes, buffalo are HUGE!

  2. Oh wow, Keith, you rode outside today?? I opted to stay in since it seemed like it was really blowing. Glad you made it home safe and sound without incident from either the wind or the buffalo!

  3. You are truly turning into a bike monster! :)

    It's rides like yours that teach you to rise above the fear -- and you did it. You learned you CAN ride in scary, windy conditions. Even if it doesn't happen during a race, plenty of other scary things can happen, like getting cut off by another rider, swerving to avoid an accident, negotiating the congestion at aid stations...

    You stayed on your bike yesterday, kept a cool head, and was attentive to your bike handling skills. I call that a HUGELY successful ride.

    :) :) :) :)

  4. I would not have run in that kind of wind, much less ride a bike!

    There's actually a buffalo ranch not 5 miles from our home here in Central Joisey. We've gone twice on Buffalo Watch Day in late Spring when they give tours and you can stand around admiring the buffalo, see how they corral them, listen to talks, etc.

    Kinda cool.


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