Sunday, 23 November, 2003

Bicycling vulnerabilities

I said before that one of the most frightening things to a bicyclist is a horn honking behind him.  Add to that screeching tires, again from behind.  Only slightly less frightening is the sound of tires spinning on wet pavement and the thought that whatever vehicle is making that sound is now out of control and fishtailing towards you.  I don't generally mind riding my bicycle in traffic, but sometimes I feel so vulnerable!

The elements provide a certain sense of vulnerability, too.  Yesterday's ride of 60 miles being a case in point.  Wind is a wonderful thing when it's at your back.  There's nothing quite as satisfying as cruising along at 25 MPH or faster while expending minimal effort.  There are few things as frustrating and downright annoying as heading back into that same wind.  The wind was 15 MPH when I started yesterday morning.  By the time I was done four hours later, the reading was 20 to 25 MPH with gusts over 30 MPH.  It took me 90 minutes to go the first 27 miles, mostly with the wind.  It took almost 3 hours to get back, and I was totally drained when I finally made it.  Note to self:  next time head into the wind to start.