For several weeks I had been planning a 40 mile one-way ride for yesterday. My wife had a meeting in Wichita Falls and I had planned to ride up to Archer City, spend a few hours browsing Larry McMurtry's bookstores (anyone know about them??), and then she would pick me up on the way home.
But the big storm blew through here Friday night and the prediction was for winds up to 40 mph with higher gusts for yesterday. And sure enough, it blew that hard. The winds were forecast to start from the south and then swing to the NW by lunch time. My planned route was sort of a western semi-circle, going south to north. I would be heading N-NW, then north, then NE. I knew I would have one short stretch into the wind but figured on a tailwind for most of the ride. I just didn't realize how much of a tailwind or how gusty it would be.
To make a long story short, except for about a six mile stretch that was into the wind, with me doing about 7 mph, I had a huge tailwind or quartering tailwind for a morning ride. And instead of stopping at 40 miles I just kept going and did a 70 mile ride to meet the wife when she finished her meeting. The route is actually some of the flatter ground in this area, particularly the last 50 miles or so, and the wind was terrific. At times I felt like I was doing cross wind landings in a sailplane. The gust were such that you had to keep both hands on the bars or scare yourself.
There was actually one stretch where I had a full tailwind, and could coast at over 20 mph. I did that stretch of about 6 miles at near 30 mph. I actually set a new max speed for my flat bar Fuji, which was 39 mph, and I just don't ever do that fast. I tell you, it was wild. The first 15 miles had taken me an hour and a half, but I did the full 70 miles in an 4 hours 30 minutes. The last 50 miles were a cross between exhilaration and fear whenever a gust would hit you sideways.
The only thing I missed was browsing the bookstores.
Anyone else in the center of the country ride in that wind yesterday?