Monday, May 17, 2010
High Winds + iPod= Bad Karaoke
What a crazy ride today! We left around 9:00 wearing just a jersey and shorts with a 15mph headwind and within 10 miles, I was frustrated with our progress(or lack thereof). I watched our average speed steadily drop from 15mph to 11.8 over the course of almost five hours of riding and once again, Ron must have rode at the front 90% of the time, but 'drafting' in these conditions is nearly futile. By the time we rolled into camp, the winds were 30mph with gusts over 45. It was not the worst day I've had cycling, but it was the toughest 55 miles Ron & I have ever ridden for sure.
Now I do NOT advocate this, but we took our iPods after the first break because of the howling winds. Even with the volume maxed out, I could still hear that awful sound over The Who. I started singing the lyrics I knew and it probably sounded horrible, but it made the ride more tolerable.
Leaving Independence, Ron & I found out what sandblasting feels like. Grinding along at 8mph in a 39x25 gear, we could see a cloud of grit and dust coming right at us and within seconds I couldn't breathe or see Ron so I stopped until it passed. He asked if we should turn around rather than put ourselves in peril, but I was more determined than ever to just go 15 more miles to Lone Pine. The construction zone turned out to be a huge benefit in that we had a whole partitioned lane to ourselves. Man, that sand in the face still hurts as I'm writing this.
A big thank you is in order to Russ & Rene Rickert. We are camping in Boulders RV park and it is everything you said it would be. The hot tub repaired some of my aching body. Jim Wright and company, can you pray for us over the next 2 days through the desrt? I am not sure I can take another day of these winds.