Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Head Wind

I hadn't read the weather report before I set out this afternoon so I was taken by surprise when I walked outside and felt the 20 mph winds from the north. So I knew it was going to be a tough ride home today. But unlike a few weeks ago when I tried to hammer through it, I resolved to pace myself and get home without giving myself a stroke.

While biking east I was continually whipped from side to side but at least I kept a respectable speed. Once I headed north on the Lakeshore Trail I could only bike about 11 mph at a sustained rate. I passed casual bicyclists that were really struggling.

Just south of the river a commuter on a road bike got on the path in front of me and we both maneuvered through the tricky area between Wacker Drive and Navy Pier. Once we got north of Ohio Street Beach I eased by him and grunted a greeting. I trudged through the wind and picked up a bit more speed but the going was tough. At North Avenue Beach the same commuter passed me and I suggested we team up to get us through this gale. He agreed and I got a bit of a breather in his slipstream. Just south of Fullerton he pulled over so I could take my turn. I really labored through the wind to do my part. I found I was able to get up to 16 mph. My objective was to make it to Belmont and let him take the lead again. By this time the winds seemed to be tempered by the buildings and the biking wasn't so bad anymore. I eased up at Belmont but my partner wasn't there. Odd.

Up ahead I saw a mountain biker with a pretty good pace and figured I could leach off of him. The ride is pretty bumpy along this way and trying to catch up with him started to wear me out. I never did catch him and he eventually turned off just north of Montrose. So I had to finish this trip on my own.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 2481.2 miles
Price of gas: $3.11


Anonymous said...

The northern winds today were something to dedicate new swear words to. And as a Weather channel dork, I noticed that the 60613 readout said "N/NE winds at 11 mph..gusting to 19 mph" when I took a brief 2-wheeled respite for a late lunch (2 PM)..

Mr. Senator, I know 19 MPH winds, and THESE WERE NO 19 MPH WINDS!!!!!

Apertome said...

It's great that you and the other rider were able to help each other. It's a bit strange, I try to say hello to other cyclists around here, and if they are going the opposite direction, some of them will wave, but otherwise, they tend to ignore me. I don't know why they rarely seem interested in talking to other cyclists. The friendliest guy was riding a Schwinn Rolling Rock Cruiser ... I wonder what could've put him in such a good mood?