Tuesday, October 08, 2013
I debated riding home last night because of the wind. Truth be told, I questioned my sanity for even thinking about riding home.
I had to appear in court yesterday. Crossing over the river, visibility was limited to a few miles because of blowing dust and sand. And hour later, most of the dust and sand had cleared.
As the end of the work day neared, I checked the weather at the nearest airport. 26 mph wind, 33 mph gusts. I decided to ride home on the sourth side of the river. It's longer (15 miles, as opposed to 10), but most of the way is relatively protected from the wind by trees. (The Pasco side of the river is mostly exposed. A few sections are on top of the levee alongside the river - completely exposed.)
As I was standing outside work, turning on my lights and various electronic gadgets, a gust of wind pushed me backwards. I shook my head - I'm going to ride in this? I must be nuts.
The ride over the Columbia River was the most exposed. I probably could have walked faster. Fortunately, the river is only a half-mile wide. This wasn't the worst wind I've ridden in - it did not blow me off the trail - but I was glad I rode on the south side of the river!
I didn't see many trail users. The trail on the south side of the river is all parkland, and there were only a handful of people in the park. (No one was using the disc golf course - that's a first!) I only saw two other riders. We shared the knowing nod of people who recognize that everyone else thinks we're insane; only we know the truth - we're the lucky ones!
The ride took about 80 minutes. I had the wind at my back at the very end of the ride, which made the last little elevation gain go by quickly. The sun was setting, and I was treated to a glorious display of pinks and purples and deep oranges. Lovely!
And this morning, I had that wind at my back. Wheee!