….when riding into a bloody hurricane! Cuss me! The ride home this evening was without a shadow of a doubt one of the windiest, and therefore toughest, I have had in a long time. Check it out:
Yup that’s right. I took a snapshot of this forecast just as I left the office. 48 kph winds from the south-west. Where do I live? Twenty-five kilometres south-west of where I was standing at that moment. Of course what this screen shot does not capture is the speed of the gusts that were hammering across the open spaces every thirty to forty-five seconds. I am not a weatherman, but they would have been in the 60 kph range, I’m certain of it. Either way, I knew it was going to be a rough ride home.
There’s a place about 10 km from home where the road rejoins the waterfront after a couple of kilometres further inland. Also at this point the land juts out into the body of water thus eliminating the possibility for any potential wind breaking objects, such as enormous trees, because one is totally exposed to the wind charging in over the lake. But why should I only describe it when I can also show you?
The lake, as with all lakes, is typically calm. No waves or tidal patterns like the ocean. But today it looked like the grey dreary beach front at Walton-on-the-Sea (name changed so as not to insult any UK readers). Nothing but cold looking, murky water with aggressive crests pounding the shore.
It was as I finished taking this picture that a young bloke went by on his road bike, clearly in the small ring and obviously struggling. He went past me while I re-mounted and by the time I was up again he was about fifty metres ahead. So much for some sharing the pain I thought. Then the competitive spirit kicked in and I decided to catch him up. A strong wind really makes you appreciate the vast selection of gears that we usually have at our disposal. All I had was the 42T/16 and it was a grind by this part of the trip home. In my attempt to catch up with the roadie I had stood up in the pedals and almost laughed to myself when I realised that an elderly lady pushing a Zimmer frame would have had no problems overtaking me had she wished to. I’d never felt such a strong and directly head on wind before. It was awesome.
I kept grinding away though, and I could see that I was slowly catching him. Oh this was going to be sweet. In the wind to end all winds I, on a fixed gear, was going to overtake a roadie. Now, I had to make it look like I wasn’t suffering too much when I got there. That would be tough given that my chest was burning and my legs were screaming blue murder, but I had to make calm. And then, when I was about six feet from his wheel, he turned off the path and up a street. Bastard! Bow dare you deny me my moment? Well, I still had him. So it counts. No?