Riding in the wind

I rode my bike today in the wind, and I felt like it was going to knock me off a few times. I can’t remember the last time I rode in such wind. It was an interesting workout. What’s worse was that I wasn’t able to bend down and really try to speed through it (as if on a road bike). Of course, it didn’t help that I was also pretty tired from a long ride on the trainer yesterday.

Which gets me to another point: riding on a trainer can be pretty boring. I really like getting outside and riding, especially with the sun beating down on you and the breeze cooling you off. I ride mostly for fitness now; I haven’t commuted as much as I probably should. I picked up Eric Harr’s “Ride Fast” book and started following the training program. The verdict is still out on how well this program will work for me; I started week four of a ten-week program. But I like his no-pressure approach and his motivational style.

As I mentioned, today marked the beginning of my fourth week, and I feel like I’m making some progress. The most difficult thing for me is finding decent places to ride without worrying about traffic. I’ve found a couple of quieter roads, but they’re only good if its not rush hour. Although I live in a city full of ped and bike trails, they’re multi-use trails, so they’re not really suited for cycle training. I also live around many hills, which can be either good or bad. Despite all of my excuses, I still find myself sticking to this program and gaining both confidence and ability on the road.

Today was a little different. Although I felt that I could push at a better pace, I still felt like the wind and the fatigue from yesterday’s ride nearly did me in. I had been off a day for the past couple of weeks, due to an out-of-state wedding (I know, I should’ve brought my bike), and today was my chance to get back on schedule. Mondays are typically rest days. But I did manage to get into a tempo ride, and I felt like I really pushed myself; my heart rate monitor would agree with me. The wind added a lot of resistance, especially since I have to sit mostly upright on my hybrid bike. I felt that I wasn’t riding as well as I should be. I only rode 48 minutes instead of the 1 hour 15 minutes I was supposed to go. I think I finally gave in due to fear of getting knocked over by a really strong gust.

I don’t know if I would want to ride like that again on my current bike. If I had a road bike, I probably could have done a little stronger ride. But with a hybrid, riding into the wind is really challenging. Still, it was a good learning experience and worth every mile.

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