The shining sun this morning lured me out to the Lakefront Trail, away from my usual route to work. Once I got onto the trail, I realized that there was an extremely strong headwind, the kind that slows me down by half.
I started to feel grumpy (this was pre-coffee, people!) but I stopped myself and decided to focus on all the good. My path was clear, the sky had a subtle pink tint, and the spindly trees looked cool. I could turn my face up to the sun and feel the slight warmth on my skin.
And turning the corner near the end of my ride and seeing this view is always good for morale.
In the afternoon, I treated myself to this bad boy for my hard work and as a fortification for my ride home.
Sometimes the wind turns on me as a cruel joke during the day, so I was a little worried about taking the lakefront home in the evening, but I couldn’t resist and this time I had the wind at my back.
That is the story of my windy city commute today. Bike commute number 1,174 – approximately. :)
Since I took public transportation instead of riding my bike during the two-day windstorm, I bring this story from my intrepid reporter/friend E A. If there’s ever a day when I don’t ride due to weather conditions, I can be 95% sure that E A rode anyway.
At 7am Tuesday rain was pouring down and traffic reports showed the results of jack-knifed semis and cars in ditches. Luckily the worst of the storms moved over Chicago quickly and I found myself staring out into an eery calm after the storm by 8:30am. Shortly after 9am I was on the road with a light wind breaker for a dry commute into strong (but not gale force) southerly winds. Along my route, I bike down Wells Street – which to me is always ridden with cyclonic type winds – and my commute on Tuesday (or Wednesday) did not disappoint.
So… from my commute, I offer you some cautionary advice for dealing with such gusty wind storms:
* Keep both hands firmly gripped on your handlebars
* Tuck your upper body down more so less of you is exposed to the brunt of the wind
* Forge ahead
* Don’t be ashamed to bail out to use public transportation if the conditions are not safe – put your own safety first
Especially when the cross-winds come, I find it particularly challenging to keep my line and not be blown into parked cars or traffic speeding by. But I know my route well and that high level of familiarity helps me know just when and where I’m most exposed and where I can seek shelter or alternate transportation if need be.
I rode both ways Tuesday and Wednesday despite the high wind advisory. Going home both days the winds should have be at my back, but some of those gusts whipped at me from every direction… The best part was when the wind literally did PUSH me home – “Look Ma – No pedaling!”
At least the these are the warm winds. It’s when these winds turn blustery that I start to shudder.
Stay upright out there! And please share your stormy/windy commuting adventures and tips.