06 April 2009

A Long-Winded Post

Or perhaps a post about wind.

On the schedule for this past weekend was a 63-mile ride Saturday, and a 15-mile run Sunday. The temperatures looked to be great for both days, and I was excited to not have a rainy weekend for the first time in what seems like a while.

And then the wind blew. Relentlessly. I've never thought it was possible to be blown off my bike, but I'm pretty sure it almost happened a few times on Saturday's ride. We started out from Tyler Elementary in Gainesville. The first 10 miles were on Rt 245, into a direct headwind. After drafting off Es for two miles (thanks bud), I figured I was strong enough to push harder. I instantly recognized the savings of being in the aero position - sitting up, I was struggling to stay 10 mph. Dropped down aero, I was averaging about 19-20. And then we turned off 245. My bike and I, attempting to stay together as a solid unit, started to dance with the wind. Between every house and break in landscape came gusts which were so powerful, I thought I was going to lose my bike out from under me. Forget taking a drink from a bottle, I couldn't let go of my handlebars. Aero position was out of the question. A quick stop at a 7-11 around mile 16, which was filled with people from the 40 mile ride (left from a different location 30 minutes following the 63's) caused a long pause in my ride. Hoping to catch Es, I threw on my and went screaming down the road. Dropped into aero, I felt awesome.... rocking out going maintaining between 25-28mph. I went sailing past one of our SAG drivers, and waved as I continued down the road. All of the sudden, my coach comes up with the SAG driver whom I just passed in their car, and yells at me to stop. Thinking I was about to get a lecture about riding in the center of the road (I was avoiding potholes on the side of the desolate roads).. I pulled up to their window. Ed, trying to keep a straight face.. says "look at your reflection".

I put my helmet on backwards. Wow.

I can't even explain the logistics of how that actually worked, and how I didn't NOTICE that my helmet was on backwards... but I digress. I fixed my helmet, laughed, and continued on my way. I picked up speed again, and then hit a major pothole. I maintained control, but it beat me to the core. I listened: No flat tire, no bent rims. Life was good until I reached back to grab my Gatorade out of my rear bottle holder. Gone. I stopped, and I literally broke BOTH bottle cages in the hit (side note: I have the same set up as Ray, who also has only lost a bottle due to failure against a severe pothole. Luckily, I didn't break my seat). Rt 713: 2, Lindsay: 0. Once I got everything together, and laughed a little more about the fact I zoomed past a bunch of people with my helmet on backwards, the rest of the ride was rather uneventful. Since I had lost two water bottles in the pothole fiasco, I was way down on calories for the ride. It started to heat up, which wasn't helping, nor was the wind still gusting at 35 knots. I slowed down, and Gina along with another teammate caught up to me. We tackled Snickersville Turnpike together. I'm not sure on the score of Snickersville vs myself, but it was a close match. There were points I was going 3 mph up the hills, every turn of the cranks burning my quads in a strange enjoyably masochistic way.

And then the breakdown started. Groups of motorcyclists were coming from the opposite direction. I couldn't help but think that my dad (proud owner of a Triumph Bonneville) would have loved to been out riding on a day like today. And then came a flood of emotions I've been repressing. I'm sure my teammates had no idea I was bawling under my sunglasses, attempting to keep the tears from welling into my eyes, because I needed to see the road (not that it was passing by quickly - I was still struggling to maintain 4mph up the hills..) I think if I wouldn't have had some teammates there, I would have gotten off my bike and curled up against a tree for a few hours and thrown a self-pity party. I'm glad they were there. The remainder of the ride was good after that, and I returned a bit quicker than I thought I was going to.

I planned to ride on Sunday again with a teammate, however my ass wasn't going to have it. I switched to tri shorts on the 63 miler, and, although comfortable, they take a bit of getting used to. My ass was not that happy with me Sunday. I decided to forgo the additional biking after cheering on teammates at the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler. Instead, I came home, took a nap, got my 13 miles in (hey, I rode around town for a while.. that should count as 2 miles of running).

I miss sleeping in on the weekends.


Gina said...

Loved the title of your post...was a pun intended? Gosh was it every windy! I'm sorry about your emotional ride and Snickersville Tnpk. I can relate...but in a different way. And I'm glad you got your run in after all.

Rainmaker said...

Very nicely done on the bike. winds can be downright nasty, especially in aero - wise move in staying on the handlebars instead.

I hear ya on the potholes. That reminds me, I still gotta fix my second cage, it kinda sways a bit (cause it's broken). But, because I'm lazy, it's been broken since last July...

Didn't realize you were out there as well on Sunday at the Cherry Blossom. Cool!

Maggs said...

I hate wind. that's all i've had to ride in lately.

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