Normally, I would probably have stuck to riding in the garage, but the bike had to go in for a tune-up today, and I wasn't able to ride on Monday. Too busy getting my LJ Idol story finished and posted by the 4 pm deadline! Any faint hopes of biking after that vanished with the "Rain starting in 77 minutes" Accuweather note for my neighborhood, which was still some 45 minutes plus prep-time away. :(
Yesterday's wind forecast was bad, but not immediate. It was supposed to increase over the course of the day. I went out to check around 12:30 to see if it seemed workable, and decided to chance it. Of course, between sun-blocking, changing, and more work, I didn't get out for another hour, but still... It wasn't so much the 13-17mph winds, which are daunting enough, but not a deal-breaker. It's the "gusts up to 22 mph" part. When those come from the side, bad things can happen—especially if you're riding out on the road, which is the only option near my office.
My usual route almost always winds up with crosswinds (and gusts) during the out-and-back part where I get a lot of mileage, so I'd planned to work around that. But not before after giving it a little try. ;) This is a game I play with myself, where I imagine it might not be that bad (since that direction has buildings/trees as a windbreak up until that point). [Spoiler alert: it is almost always that bad.] I got maybe a third of a mile before deciding the gusts were too much, and turned around. Still less bad than the epic time I was afraid to slow down with those gusts, lest I get smacked over by one of them. :O
Instead, I went out a road I haven't been on for over a year. Lots of new construction there, which is the story of this region. It's in a county that has no inhibitions about sprawl, so all the farmland is gradually being developed over time. The strawberry farm along there is gone now. Those disappearing rural areas are where I ride to avoid stoplights and stop signs, of course. :(
When I came back on that road, it was the first stint of riding into the headwind. Good grief—my heart! My lungs! Wow. There was 1.5 miles of that, mostly moderately uphill. Then a loop, and then snaking my way back to the office in increments of a few miles of headwind broken up by sideways trips East to spread out the effort.
THAT was a workout. Hours later, I was still feeling it. :O
Today's weather is similar, so I hope it's over by tomorrow, when I'll have my bike back again...