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Old 02-25-07, 03:57 PM   #1
Monoborracho
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Wild and Windy Ride in North Texas

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?
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Old 02-25-07, 04:02 PM   #2
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I ran into the same wind down here in Katy and I quit after 15 miles. I least I got out to ride a little.
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Old 02-25-07, 07:07 PM   #3
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Sounds like one of those rides where you're trying to figure out if your tears are coming from laughing from the thrill and exhiliration of the tailwind or the fear of being knocked over sideways!! That is definitely "one for the books"!
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Old 02-25-07, 09:14 PM   #4
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You are braver than me, Monoborracho. I had a club ride planned, but planted myself at home, instead. I settled for a solo 70 miles today.
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Old 02-26-07, 05:52 AM   #5
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by the time I got off work the wind had to be 40 mph, on Fwy 635 18 wheelers were pulled over on the side of the road do to such high gust. The air was so full of dust,debris and other crap I decided to wait until sunday for a ride
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Old 02-26-07, 07:18 AM   #6
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I was lucky in that we didn't have it as bad here as you guys over in the Metroplex. And there was hardly any dust until about noon, by which time I was hiding in the corner of a college library waiting for my wife to finish her meeting. Having spent my high school years on the South Plains of Texas I know what a bad wind/sand storm is, and this one Saturday afternoon was as bad as I have seen in many years.
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Old 02-26-07, 11:25 AM   #7
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Wow, what a ride!!
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Old 02-26-07, 12:16 PM   #8
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Sounds like an exhilarating ride! After we watched the Aggies win another basketball game, we elected to work in the yard rather than brave the 25 - 35 mph gusts. Our routes seem to take into the wind too much to make it much fun to ride & the dust was really kicking up.

Would love to visit McMurtry's bookstore(s) in Archer City. I thought I read where he was trying to sell them - did that ever happen? Or maybe the city bought them because they are the biggest (and just about only) economic generator for the town.
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Old 02-26-07, 06:45 PM   #9
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What a ride! You're a braver man than I. I got in an hours worth of riding in the morning before the wind hit. My normal circuit would have resulted in the last half of my ride being directly into the wind, so I decided it didn't sound like a fun way to finish up a ride and went early, knowing what was predicted. Later in the afternoon, those straight winds from west Texas carried a goodly percentage of your topsoil through the metroplex with the heaviest dust storm I have seen in several years. It was like living in a sepia toned photograph. Eerie. I spent this morning replacing asphalt shingles on the roof, but later did get to go out and play on the local single track for the first time since last autumn. It was a perfect day to ride here. To all who are still experiencing more wintry climes -- Spring is coming! It won't be long!
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Old 02-26-07, 09:49 PM   #10
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Wild and Windy

I tried it in Plano but gave up after 5 miles. That was also my max (5mph) speed into the wind!
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Old 03-01-07, 04:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centexwoody
Sounds like an exhilarating ride! After we watched the Aggies win another basketball game, we elected to work in the yard rather than brave the 25 - 35 mph gusts. Our routes seem to take into the wind too much to make it much fun to ride & the dust was really kicking up.

Would love to visit McMurtry's bookstore(s) in Archer City. I thought I read where he was trying to sell them - did that ever happen? Or maybe the city bought them because they are the biggest (and just about only) economic generator for the town.
To my knowledge he still owns them, and is up to 5 of them now with #5 being the rare books/manuscripts shop. It is located right next to the theatre (from The Last Picture Show). I look for Cybil Shepherd everytime I'm there but haven't seen her yet.

Come on up and visit sometime. We'll ride for pie.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
Sounds like one of those rides where you're trying to figure out if your tears are coming from laughing from the thrill and exhiliration of the tailwind or the fear of being knocked over sideways!! That is definitely "one for the books"!
JPPE..you've called it exactly right. No boredom at all on that ride.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:25 PM   #13
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Hey Monoborracho , it did it again down here 20 mph gusting to 25, I got 21 miles in. It's really fun down wind, but bucking, it is a bear. How come it always feel like your going into it though.
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Old 03-01-07, 06:59 PM   #14
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Hey Monoborracho , it did it again down here 20 mph gusting to 25, I got 21 miles in. It's really fun down wind, but bucking, it is a bear. How come it always feel like your going into it though.
Inasmuch as coasting on a bike is as close as you can get to flying on the ground....an analogy is in order. Going downhill and with the wind is never an even trade off with going uphill or into the wind...because you go slower and spend more time in the latter cirucmstances.
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Old 03-01-07, 08:34 PM   #15
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I had a 25 mph crosswind for my ride yesterday. We seem to get lots of wind training here in Texas.
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