Friday, May 11, 2007

Friends In Need

I was determined ride home today despite the 25 mph northerly winds. The weather was still mild otherwise so I figured if I paced myself it really wouldn't be a problem. I wish I could ditch my pannier though. In windy conditions the forward edges bow out and it has all the aerodynamics of a parachute.

I got a taste of what awaited me biking east on Roosevelt Road. The gusts from my left kept blowing me toward the curb. Automobile traffic was grid locked from Racine to Canal. It provided somewhat of a wind barrier though.

Heading north was initially a great challenge. From Roosevelt to Monroe I had a maximum speed of 11 mph. But as my ride progressed I guess I got a bit more efficient. By the time I got to North Avenue I was biking at around 16 mph. About that time I caught up to a roadie on a new bike. I passed him and was able to check out his carbon bodied ride. About a half mile later he passed me and I asked if he minded my drafting. He said he didn't mind and I leached off him for a while. When he asked if we go straight at Fullerton I realized he was from out of town. So I pulled along side and we chatted a bit. He was in from the Detroit area for some fitness expo at McCormick place and trying out his new bike. As we talked a bunch of bicyclists passed us and I suggested we catch up. So he took the lead again and really poured it on. Around Belmont Harbor we caught up and I took the lead and offered to cut the wind for a while. Another bicyclist took me up on the offer but after a while my roadie friend was gone. I never even got to thank him.

I was cooking pretty good considering we were still riding into a gale. Around Wilson there were only two of us until we caught up to a guy on a road bike. He joined us and he and I switched off the lead when we weren't talking. He was from Rogers park and was biking from around Midway. Now there's a ride. He said he took Archer Avenue much of the way from the Lakefront. Sounded helacious. Fortunately there was a long red light at the end of the bike path for a well needed breather.

When the light turned green I headed off on my own home. The winds didn't really bother me once I got away from the lake. They were still annoying and slowing me down though.

When I got home my wife was a bit peeved I was so late. The breeze probably added about 30 minutes to my commute.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 2721.7 miles
Price of gas: $3.47

1 comment:

Apertome said...

Teamwork is great, I wish cyclists around here were so friendly. Or maybe it's that I'm not friendly enough, and I need to try to start a conversation. I really don't know.

Anyway, it's great that you guys were able to share the burden of the wind. Good stuff.