Are evil, evil things. A 20mph wind can just stop you near dead on a bike. We had that, more or less all day, coming from the NW.
I was riding due west today, in a foiled pursuit of a century. Friday (today) seemed like the perfect day to try for one, given the rest of my schedule. To that end I cut my night out short, leaving The Difficult Lunch, The Winning Smile, and some others out to carouse. Although I enjoyed seeing Beau’s band and DL/WS, the tail end of the night was boring – another law school “mixer” turned coagulator. Largely the same people talking to the same people about television and the fishbowl, but in front of other people with expensive drinks in their hands. Although I did speak with some interesting non-LS types, the ½ hour of conversation wasn’t worth the walk, the wait, or the price of beer. Unfortunately I left as a slew of 3peeps showed up! – they can always be counted on for interesting talk.
The century was also unsatisfactory (it wasn’t actually a century), ridiculously cold and slow. The wind dropped the temp down to 20-30, and at one point dropped me off Hush. (Tight turn, gust, pedal snag on bramble - however it was a controlled fall – nobody lost skin or paint.) I felt sort of embarrassed around Hush after the fall, as though it were a bicycling faux pass, rather than a legitimate accident. (The worst time Hush and I went down was years ago – someone squeezed me onto the shoulder where a rusted bail of diamond link fencing ripped Hush out from under me. Hush needed a new front wheel and saddle – I needed new skin on my elbows, palms, knees and hips. Not good times.)
Anyway, around mile 35, I decided I’d had enough – you can only ride for so long when you have to stop every 7 miles to shake blood back into your hands and feet. Plus it’s just a killer to be clipping along at 16-18mph and have a sustained blast of wind drop you down to 9-11mph. The sky was growing overcast and the wind wasn’t stopping. It was just getting silly. On the way back, I stopped at a café, largely to let my hands and feet unfreeze. I had about15 min of pins and needles – not a great sign. I tell ya though, excluding the woman in the corner who seemed under the influence of heavy opiates, I doubt anyone in that café was happier during that time than I was, wrapping my hands around a steaming cup of soup.
Of course when I got back in toward DC, the sun came out, the temperature warmed up just enough, and the winds became intermittent. I could have turned around, but there’s something very psychologically weighty about redoing a leg of a trail. Half the fun comes from not knowing what’s around the next curve.
So I only got 70. But I feel I earned them.
Now - Shower, Law, Blackstrap Molasses and coffee, and, later, Wench on a Rack’s birthday party. There will be martinis. Perhaps I will wear my martini jacket.