Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bizarre Headwind, lack of coffee, and slowness

It should come as no surprise to anyone that when I got around to checking my heart rate this morning, it was about average. Averaging about 22 miles per day this week so far, I haven't really been pushing through the miles, and for good reason. It's freaking hot! Less riding means easier recovery, I guess.

The radar was clear overhead, but up north there had been some good storms brewing all night long. They were far enough north that I wouldn't need to worry about them on the way to work. I got out REALLY late this morning, partially because I took the time to eat breakfast before my departure.

One thing I didn't look at was the recent NOAA weather observations. This would have told me that mother nature had some cruel stuff in store for me on my way to work. Since I didn't look in advance, I got to figure it out the hard way. What cruelty was she brewing in her weather cauldron of doom? How about 79 degrees, 87% relative humidity, 12 MPH winds out of the East-Northeast? That right, a brick-walling headwind on top of relentless temperatures and humidity before the sun even came up.

So, I was running late and I was running slow in the face of these evil winds. I decided to just take it easy. The trade off is that I wouldn't have time for my morning beverage. When hitting the coffee shop, it makes sense to use Baltimore. If I thought Baltimore was a death slog, though, I was in for a surprise. Baltimore is not the most efficient way to get to my office, so I used Broadway for the entire trip to 10th street. Broadway is steeper and longer than Baltimore, but I went for it anyways. I've climbed it before, it's not impossible. It's just more trying than Baltimore.

So there you have it. At least I didn't break any spokes. That I know of.

I hope this 12MPH wind keeps going the way it was this morning. It'll make for an easy ride home. My luck doesn't work that way, though.

Random Tunage:
Eric Prydz - Proper Education (Remix/Cover of Pink Floyd's The Wall)
Plumb - Blush (Only You)


Anonymous said...

You're right, temps and humidity levels there look just the same as here in VA. There was even some wind that slowed me down at times, although I didn't check the NOAA web site to see what these were. But i wouldn't be surprised if they were in the 9-12mph range.

Anonymous said...

You're right, temps & humidity levels there were almost exactly like they were here in VA this morning. I didn't check the NOAA web site for wind speeds. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if they, also, weren't in the 9-12mph range.

Apertome said...

I'm impressed with how much riding you're still doing, given the heat. Mine has been cut down to the bare minimum of commuting, which has been cut by working from home one day and taking my car in for some work today. I need to get out there and ride! Great job, man.

Noah said...

Well, my morning commutes aren't usually too bad. The plan is to cut my evening commute in half, taking an early express bus out of downtown.

I can get off near a trailhead for Turkey Creek and take the last half of my full homeward commute (a paved MUP to some industrial/business parks that get me close to home)

...or I can keep riding the bus to 87th like I did last night, which gets me less than 3 miles from home but forces me to ride on a major arterial AND through two major highway junctions. I only did this because of my broken spoke, but it remains an option I hadn't pondered since last night. I was on 87th early enough that I missed the rush hour craziness. This is actually THE FASTEST way I've found for me to get home aside from driving a car. It's nice to know I can make it home by 4:30 if I must. I'm glad I experimented with this route yesterday.

A third option I have is taking the L Bus to Oak Park Mall and riding 3 miles on an even crazier arterial roadway and over a death-slog viaduct. I've done that before, and it's the reverse of my usual morning routine when the weather is bad.

At any rate, my point is that most of my miles are coming in the morning so it's really not that bad. I could have done without the headwind this morning, but even so it was a nice ride.

Had I left home on time, I would have made it downtown in time for coffee. I forgot to mention that my tardy departure put me on course to be intercepted by a slow locomotive, too. This is the first time a train has interfered with my commute. It's caused at least a 5 minute delay and it's probably the real reason I was so late this morning, as it not only compounded the rush hour situation, but pretty much demoralized me 25% into my commute.

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