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I couldn't wipe the silly grin from my face! - A ride report(7 posts)

I couldn't wipe the silly grin from my face! - A ride reportBowWow
Oct 25, 2003 7:32 PM
In this country, there are days when you can only ride east. Today was one of those days. The wind was howling out of the west, so I racked up the bike on the Saturn and cajoled my wife into dropping me off in Waterton, about 55km from my home. We drafted a Yukon most of the way out, 'cause the Saturn just didn't have the jam to buck the headwinds up the hills.

We dropped of at the edge of the lake, as far as the pavememt could take us. The wind off the water nearly knocked my wife down as we unloaded the bike and tossed the rack into the trunk. I clipped in and let the wind blow me down the road as I made the initial ride adjustments to clothes, bike, and head. In a couple of minutes my wife passed me, and I was ready to hammer!

I spun past Cameron Falls, through the townsite and out into the open, headed for the bald prairies. Suddenly the rear end started to wag a bit, that old "losing air fast" feeling, and I jammed on the front brake to avoid damaging the tire. A glance at the computer showed 5:32 - barely into the ride and I flatted! In anticipation of a ride through sparsely populated country I had loaded the wedge with a tube and the tire irons, and mounted the mountian pump to the seat tube water bottle braze-ons. I was sure thankful for that foresight! I found the tiny, rusty finishing nail that had tried to finish me, pulled it out of the tire, and in ten minutes was back on the road. And sailing in the wind!

There is nothing quite like flying down the road at 45km/h with the wind, with no wind noise, no air movement at all. It is eerie - you can hear the wind tearing at the grass, the telephone wires singing, the barbed wire shreading the air, but absolutely no air movement around you. Even your clothes hang loose! I caught a couple of pure moments like this, where the road and the wind agreed on direction. Some stretches were harder, where the wind crossed the road and threatened to snatch the bars from my grip, but for the most part I was moving at pro peloton speeds, spinning in the big ring and smallest cogs, racing with abandon across the wide prairie.

After a particularly difficult stretch of uphill that ran nearly 90 degrees to the wind, the road curved left, heading nearly due east again, then dropped rapidly to the Belly River bridge. The relief of catching the tailwind gassed my legs, and I hopped on it, quickly spinning up to 80 km/h. What a rush! As I flew towards the bridge I saw the expansion joints and thought they may be a bit hard on the bike at this speed, so I bunny hopped 'em! Hands in the drops, hunched low to be as aero as possible, and hopping expansion joints at 81.1 km/h! I could hear a sound screaming in my ears, and I realized it was me, hollering in exuberance at the incredible feeling of flying! I shot across the bridge, jumped the five expansion joints, and blew up the other side of the ravine, howling and jamming and grinning like a madman! What an incredible feeling!

The rest of the ride was just as incredible. I was into Mountain View in 50 minutes - absolutely unheard of! Leavitt fell in and hour and six, and I was home on my porch in Cardston in one hour 21 minutes and change! This has traditionally been a solid two hour ride for me, so I just had to tell you all about it! And I'm still grinning!

Ride stats:
Time: 1:21:47
Distance: 55.8 km
Average Speed: 40.9 km/h
Maximum Speed: 81.1 km/h
Max Heart Rate: 167 bpm
re: I couldn't wipe the silly grin from my face! - A ride reportaliensporebomb
Oct 25, 2003 11:43 PM
Awesome ride.. The way you describe it it's almost better than sex.

I love tailwinds!
re: I couldn't wipe the silly grin from my face! - A ride reportGeoCyclist
Oct 26, 2003 8:10 PM
Wouldn't it be great if you could have a tail wind both out and back on a ride!
Usually get the <i>headwind</i> both ways! nmBowWow
Oct 26, 2003 8:27 PM
same here nmgildomilo
Oct 27, 2003 6:47 AM
That's why I always go out with a <i>tail</i>wind (nm)ss jimbo
Oct 27, 2003 9:23 AM
I had a similar ride jimbo
Oct 27, 2003 9:35 AM
I rode from Gainesville to Cedar Key, FL, about 55 miles at an average of 25.1 mph. We even started out in town and so had to pick it up after we got out. The road is very straight and flat. My buddy was on an mtb with slicks, so I pulled the whole time. His wife picked us up at the end of the ride and we had seafood for dinner. It was great.