Ride Hard....Roll Fast

My adventures as a triathlete, Mountain Biker and aspiring bike racer.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mother Nature is NOT a cyclist

But maybe she's a comedian, or a cynic or likes playing just really mean jokes.

Or maybe she's a Jillian Michaels-type trainer who's favorite phrase is, "Hey, it didn't kill you, did it? HTFU."

Whatever she is, I hope she appreciated the confusion she caused this weekend. The weather forecast had predicted temps in the 40s, but I woke up to overcast, chilly and slightly windy weather Saturday morning. This caused at least 10 extra minutes of standing in front of the gear closet, trying to decide between long or short sleeve base layers, knee or leg warmers, vest or wind jacket, booties or no booties. I'm pretty sure I put on every combination option before I decided I'd rather be too hot than too cold, and then threw everything in a bag to bring to the ride anyway.

Driving to the ride, it was overcast and 32 degrees. Um....this was NOT the warmer temps that had been predicted. This was the same old cold stuff we'd been bundling up for the last few weekends. Guess I'll go with booties, but hope for some warm stuff and wear knee warmers.

40 cyclists rolled from the Davidsonville Park 'n' Ride dressed in everything from shorts to thermal tights to ski face masks. I was happy with my choice of clothing, but rode away unaware of the wind that was about to kick up, about 20 minutes into the ride.

Not only did Mother Nature figure out how to trick us all into riding into what we thought was going to be a warm day, but she also managed to figure out how to create a headwind, the whole way, out AND back. Riding most of the 51 miles with no more than 2 other people, the headwind made the entire ride feel like a big-ring drill. Even short climbs that can normally be powered over felt like trudging up 10% grade with a flat and rubbing brakes.

And on top of all that, there were these crazy gusts that, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, nearly knocked me off my bike. Seriously, if I wasn't paying attention or had good control over my front end during a few of these gusts, I was definitely going over. Felt bad for the guys that brought their deep-dish wheels out for the ride. I guess being light has its advantages, unless it's windy. Then you're as strong as a rag doll. On a bike. In the wind.

So, you know, THAT was fun.

But I'll just tuck that ride away in the training bank to use as good mental toughness....and a reason to eat another bowl of ice cream :)