Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meterologicos met Paula

For those out there who don't ride a bike or do it in safe contained environments of spinning classes it usually comes as a surprise how much wind affects progress.

Like yesterday - we were practicaly pedaling like mad even downhill, and seemed to make little progress. And at terrible speed. The reason for this was all too apparent: a head wind blowing so hard I think it uprooted some trees down the road. It really takes the joy out of riding, when each meter is a struggle against a mightier force with unyielding power.

So when you cant beat them, you might want to go tactical. Even with my very limited French (I basically know that escargots are snails, and that I won't eat anything containing oeufs either) I still could make out the weather forcast in a paper left lying of the bar table. Mainly because it was an info graphic with ony numbers and arrows. No need for advanced grammar here.

What I learned was that yesterday the wind was, as stated, a head wind of 30 km/h. Which is plenty, I assure you. But that the next day (which would be today) it would be 20 km/h, this time in a direction in our favor. So a decision was made; no need to continue struggling, but cut the day short, and wait for fairer winds.

And so it came to pass. We had a hefty tail wind for the entire day. Climbing even steep hills felt like nothing. It was like an invisible hand pushed us over every ascent. And in the down hills we were forced to hold cramp-like on to our brakes, so that we wouldn't drive off the road, the speed we were going.

Yesterday we did some 75 km, but it felt like twice that. Today we did 120 km, and it felt like half of it. Same bikes, same drivers, different conditions. Makes all the difference. And in case you don't believe me, just try it yourself. You'll be amazed how much something you really can's see affects your life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Almost there! Keep the pedal to the metal.