It started off easy enough. The sun was out, no clouds in the sky and the air was relatively still. But two hours into the ride, all hell broke loose. Within a second, the sky turned dark as the sun disappeared behind the quickly approaching fog, the temperature dropped from 85 degrees to 55F, and wind kicked up so badly that it took all my might to hang onto the handlebars!
Even though my average speed decreased by over 5mph (about 9kph), my heartrate jumped by 20 bpm! I think it's because i had to spend the whole time riding sideways from the wind perpetually almost tipping me over! I really tried to do what i could to hide from the wind - i crouched down really low on the bike, just about getting lower than my handlebars (not a small feat with my tall lanky body) - but the wind still found me!
My lame attempt of hiding from the wind reminded me of a rather amusing ride i went on with Jonas. We spent three full hours taking turns trying to hide from each other. One of us would ride up the road to hide behind some house, bush or whatever we could find, wait for the other to ride by, then get back on the road and follow behind until discovered! It just cracked us up to watch the other person chase hard to catch back up to the other rider who was supposedly up the road! Sometimes one of us would spot the other perched behind some bush or fence which made us both laugh so hard.
One of these such occasions made me laugh so hard I was happy to be wearing a chamois! Jonas rode up the road, and while in plain view of me he hid behind a clear paneled bus stop and crouched over as if i wouldn't see him through the clear glass. I pretty much fell off my bike while i watched him set up his hiding spot. That moment made me realize what people mean when they say "bust a gut."
At the end of today's ride, I reached the bottom of the hill to my house - a 7-minute climb from hell. After a rather trying three hours of battling the wind, I gave myself permission to walk the hill. Since it was OK to walk, i figured i'd climb at least the first minute so I didn't have to walk that long. Seven minutes later i was at the top. What's wrong with me? Do i dislike walking that much to stay on my bike even when i turned the corner to tackle the 24% gradient with the wind smacking me in the face? Or maybe i was thinking of cyclo-cross season. As one of Coach Elmo's clients once said - "it is better to suffer in the training than suffer in the racing."
I finished the day with my most favorite meal in the world - an Indian burrito from Avatar's Punjabi Burrito in Mill Valley. They make it super mega spicy just for me!