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Home » Cycling » Repeat after Me; Wind Builds Character, Wind Builds Character… F***, WIND BUILDS CHARACTER.

Repeat after Me; Wind Builds Character, Wind Builds Character… F***, WIND BUILDS CHARACTER.

April 2018
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Just a few hours before a wind advisory went into effect, we were clipping into our pedals and rolling. It wasn’t warm out but it wasn’t as cold as it’s been around here lately, either.

The wind was dead into our left, from the south. We started out single-file but quickly doubled up so our echelon wouldn’t stretch across both lanes of the road.

We held 18-19 mph easily enough, fair for the temp being barely above freezing and the crosswind. After six miles or so we headed south into the wind. 15 was hard but we managed 16-17. It was fairly comical, actually.

Eight miles later we were done with headwind, a whole lot more whipped.

The next eight miles with a tailwind were a blast, between 23 & 28 mph with a sprint for the Durand City Limits sign that would have gotten us pulled over for speeding had the police witnessed it. Sadly for me, Doc Mike rode my wheel and whipped around me at the last second to take it by a half a wheel. I just didn’t have enough to hold him off.

The final ten miles weren’t quite as fun as the previous eight. The wind had shifted a bit from south to ssw, so we had just a hair of a tailwind with a whole lot of cross… The wind created a rare situation where being at the front was a little easier than being second or third bike in a double echelon. For the back positions 19 mph was tough to hold. From the front, 20 mph was reasonable.

We ended up with a little more than 32-1/2 miles in 1:50 and some change, just shy of 18 mph. Not bad for a blustery, cold Saturday morning in March.

There were a couple of times I thought about sitting up but I didn’t. I held on and hammered it out. Wind sucks, there’s no doubt. It does build character, though. And legs. It builds them too. Ride hard, my friends.

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16 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    Wind. Yeah. I nearly f**ked my bike in a hedge once on a windy day. On the plus side, nobody could hear me scream…

  2. While Eddie Mercx (sic) was known to ride with the wind out and against it on the way back just to toughen himself, I am a devoted “wind cheater” who excels at creating courses where the wind factor is moderated by using valleys, bike trails and other shielded obstacles to save myself the solo effort of 10 straight miles of suffering. I admit it. Rather proud of it too. LOL

  3. theandyclark says:

    Someone needs to explain to me the days when the wind follows me around the compass point. I turn north, it blows south. I turn east, it blows west…

    • bgddyjim says:

      I hate days like that! It’s not fair!

    • unironedman says:

      Ride in Ireland. Prevailing wind here is, in theory, from the south-west. In reality, it’s dominated by Atlantic-fueled depressions that spin as they pass over the country, so you can genuinely head out on a long ride with the wind in your face, only to turn for home hours later and find that it’s still there… in your face. It’s either that, or we’ve been cursed by some demon leprechaun who’s foot was run over by a foolhardy cyclist many years ago. But I suspect it’s more just Irish weather. It’s like our politics: wet and windy, and always mildly irritating.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I think that sums up politics perfectly, here too.

        Funny how that never works out that you’ve got a tailwind all day, isn’t it?

  4. ericritter65 says:

    Oh man it was windy down here yesterday too! I rode a solo 32-miler, with lots more head or crossing words than tail wind!

  5. theandyclark says:

    I’ve come to a conclusion on wind – it’s never your friend, though it’s probably buddies with your hardening thighs and flattening stomach.

    Let’s say you’re biking at 15 mph and there’s a 10 mph wind. If it’s behind you does it help? A little bit, but you’re out running it, and you don’t really notice it. So it’s kind of like that last push you gave your kids bike when they were ready to drop the training wheels. A nice, friendly gesture, but not really needed. Even if the wind is going faster than you are, it’s effect is diluted by your efforts.

    Now let’s turn around and go into that wind. Suddenly your own efforts and the wind are teaming up against you. This seems particular unfair – no way you don’t notice this.

    And when the wind is more of a cross wind, it messes with your balance – particularly annoying when it’s pushing you toward traffic.

    So wind builds character because your to busy fighting your handle bars to give it an appropriate hand gesture!

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