The Oracle of Apollo Snippets from the life of Apollo Lee

Apr 19, 2005 - 19:04


Breaking Out of the Headwind Rut

The last several days have featured headwinds substantially higher than I’m used to—every single day. Yesterday’s commute home was a real endurance event—stomping as hard as I could to maintain my sanity against winds in my face over 25 miles an hour and “breezy” gusts that took me off the road three times. I ended up posting a ridiculously low 18.0 mph daily average and, despite not wearing my tights or cycling shell on the way home, posted a higher average speed wearing both on the way to work at 7 in the morning.

It really is hard to stay motivated, when you know you have 20 miles of headwinds on the way home every day and, no matter what the weather guy says, it’s always “breezy”. I really needed to break out of this rut of getting used to dailies that do nothing but drain away at my statistics. Today, I needed a change. A blistering romp that recharged my batteries and reminded me that I’m an ass stomper.

So, I drove to work. Now that daylight savings time is here, I have lots of daylight left at the end of the work day. Knowing that a northwest wind was blowing down the peninsula at 18 miles an hour meant that I would get half my ride with that wind at my back and half the ride battling the same wind on the way back. I got into my pedals about 6:15, shoved hard to the southeast, and maintained a good aggressive lean into my bars, pacing another group of cyclists down Foothill Expressway at 28 miles an hour. I turned around at Outfitter, ate a Clif Shot, and headed back, smiling at that beautiful average speed I’d built up.

“Okay, Apollo,” I told myself. “Keep as much of this on the cyclometer as you can. Now, let’s go.” And away I pushed.

The winds seem to have subsided slightly after 7, but they were gusty still. But, leaning over my handlebars, I got as small as I could and remembered that I didn’t have a foot of backpack sticking off my back and catching the wind. I stomped hard, trying to give up as little speed as I could on the rises, gaining as much as I could on the downhills. As I turned down Atherton Avenue, I realized that, if I kept my stomp going, I could get a personal best. After a felonious 26 mile an hour kick down that country road and a couple of extra miles afterwards to fulfill my chart, I rolled into my driveway with an average speed nearly two miles an hour faster than yesterday. Holy crap. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my best daily average speed ever.

Now that’s how you break a headwind rut! I wonder if I should just drive to work and do all my miles in one kick after work. Nah, that would be too easy.

Today:   28.71 mi;   1:26:40 (19.9 mph avg; 33.0 mph max) April:  445.12 mi;  23:56:06 (18.6 mph avg; 45.0 mph max)
2005 : 2175.53 mi; 117:30:40 (18.5 mph avg; 45.0 mph max)
Goal : 5000.00 mi (2824.47 mi to go : 43.51% complete)

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