Monday, May 14, 2007

More Biking Into Headwinds

The morning news reported strong southerly winds for my trip into work today. With the stiff winds in my face on Friday, I felt I was owed a nice tailwind today. I just can't buy a break. But high winds are a hell of a lot better than sub freezing temperatures. I'm finding the strong winds don't bother me as much as they use to. I spent the weekend de-wallpapering, scraping, sanding, patching, priming and painting my boys' bedroom. So I was looking forward to going back to work and getting some rest.

This moring my bike developed an annoying click on almost every pedal rotation. Even a fresh dose of lube failed to remedy it. I think it is my ailing chain ring. My shifting is also for crap but otherwise my drive train hums quite nicely.

Biking through south Evanston were a lot of bike commuters headed in the opposite direction into town. I guess the warming weather has prompted more people to bike to work.

On Granville, a few blocks west of Broadway, I spied a yellow jerseyed bicyclist with a side pannier likely headed to the Lakefront Trail. I turned down Broadway hoping to head him off. Heavy traffic on Broadway prevented me from crossing over at Ardmore. I had to wait until the light turned red to ease across. As I biked west I saw a pack of bicyclists, including yellow jersey, crossing Sheridan. I hammered the pedals hoping to make the light. The light flips back to red pretty quickly and I ended up having to wait it out.

The headwinds weren't as bad as they were on Friday but were still a bit of a pain. Most bicyclists on the path seemed to be bothered by them more than I was though. I think my biking through winter really made a difference in my conditioning. Either the really fast bicyclists weren't out yet or I'm cruising much quicker than I was last fall.

As I biked by Belmont Harbor I think I spotted the yellow jerseyed guy again. Either his pannier was on the other side of his bike (and he obviously wasn't the same guy) or I remembered him differently. Both were equally likely. As I gained on him, a guy on a mountain bike entered the path from around Belmont and passed him. Yellow jersey wasn't about to allow that and he pedaled quicker to catch up. He seemed to share my aversion to being one-upped. Eventually he retook the lead but was moving much quicker now, much to my chagrin.

In the meantime, I encountered another pack of bicyclists south of Fullerton that had to be dealt with. From there until Oak Street, I glided by them, in and out of the line, and greeted all who would seem receptive. Most greeted me back.

South of Oak Street the wind seemed to let up and I poured it on. I was really moving now and cruised by yellow jersey like he was a street lamp. From his distinctive pannier he might have been the same guy who rejected my drafting last year (much to his credit; no one likes a parasite). I said hi as I passed though. I was able to make the light at Grand Avenue and zoomed by a bunch of other people on seemingly lighter bike/pack set ups. What an ego stroking morning. It's too bad all of my life can't be so nice.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 2766.0 miles
Price of gas: $3.55


A Midnight Rider said...

I know getting passed in a car on the highway stresses many guys out. I didn't know it also happened on bikes. grrrrr *>)

Steve said...

Being passed by another bicyclist is a direct assault on my manhood (or what's left of it anyway).