Wind Is Not My Friend

When you think of wind what comes to mind? Except for the “green” images of wind for electricity or cute images of Holland’s windmills I come up with tornadoes and hurricanes, in other words–mass destruction. (Even the image of windmills has been scary for me since watching Haley Mills nearly fall out of one in the movie Moon-Spinners in 1964).

I have been fortunate to avoid serious wind-related catastrophies, with the exception of last year’s failed century ride…until today.

OK. Maybe freezing your hands until they tingled and were practically numb does not rank up there with Katrina or the last tornado to level a mid-size Midwestern town. But it  certainly took the fun out of this morning’s bike ride. The morning started out well enough. We turned our clocks back and got an extra hour. I LOVE the extra hour, always have. It was cool out (upper 40s or low 50s) when I left this morning but that is what cold weather riding gear is for. Warmer socks, tights, extra long sleeve shirt and windbreaker. I have full finger riding gloves. Did I take them? Did Mr. contingencies (that would be me) just put them in the pocket of the windbreaker? You read the last paragraph, what do you think?

I headed south because it appeared that the wind was coming from that direction and I prefer to have the wind at my back in the second half of the ride. The headwind was noticeable but manageable. My hands even with the fingerless gloves grew warm in about 10 minutes. I felt good enough to do my the full south ride which takes me through Chicago along the lake from the very north end, past downtown and on to 7100 south. Expected round trip of 44 miles.

The ride down was at a little less than 1 mph slower than my summer pace. Not bad for riding into the wind I thought. I leave the beautiful South Shore Golf Club marking the half way point. Yet much to my surprise I was immediately riding into the wind again. And not just a wind. but a strong, frosty one. 22 miles of cold to go.

It takes both of mental and physical energy to ride in difficult conditions. The mental fatigue comes from fighting off the discomfort and those thoughts of quiting. Quiting was not realistic. I had to get home. My wife is out of town so asking her to rescue me was not in the cards. (This did not stop my mind from recalling the names and phone numbers of everyone I knew on the way home who might be willing to give up their Sunday morning for me.)  And yet between my increasingly frozen hands and the weariness in my legs the thoughts of finding a place to hold out until spring were often overwhelming.  

The thing is I knew I would make it. The only question was the degree of pain I would endure on the ride.  The answer btw is 6.5, maybe 7, on a scale of 1-10. On the other hand I have been able to ride continuous through the first weekend of November. A longer season than normal. There is always a bright side. Too bad I am a glass half empty guy. All I remember is feeling very cold. Thanks to the wind. It is not my friend.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

2 Responses to Wind Is Not My Friend

  1. Pinky Bear says:

    I love the wind and hate it at times. Nature is neither an ally or enemy. It just is.

  2. 48facets says:

    Pinky Bear, you are right about nature. We just have to adapt.

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