Flying and dragging

Yes indeed. Yesterday was a matter of both soaring through the air (figuratively) and dragging along (almost literally). The picture below might explain a little bit.

bird_ride_eau_claire

Yesterday, I rode my bike to Eau Claire for League, as well as a lunch rendezvous with Russ, with whom I worked at Stout in the math lab, and frequently chatted with him outside of the lab as well. It’s good to have collegial relations with colleagues and other TAs.

Before I had lunch with him, I had ridden my bike along Routes J, C, H, and E, just like last October. It was partly to mostly cloudy, which meant it was a little humid today, but I had a nice tailwind and the route seemed predominantly downhill. Or at least the downhill segments made the uphill segments easy.

Though I was not as much in practice as I was five years ago, I still made a very nice pace of about 26.3 km/h heading to Eau Claire (translating to about 16.3 mph). It’s not the speed that I care about in one sense, but in another sense, I do care about my speed. Not for the racing aspect, but the efficiency of time.

Lunch was great, but League was quite abbreviated since there was only one opponent there. It’s very hit-and-miss at Eau Claire’s League, unfortunately. But as I said back in March, a bike commute is NEVER a wasted trip!

However, it was challenging on the way back. I have fought harsh winds before, and for much longer distances than what I did yesterday. But I don’t think I’m in as good shape as I was in the summer of 2011. Additionally, the ride was seemingly more uphill than what I did four years and 11 months ago.

Specifically, County Road E, west of H, was a killer, because it had the “Silent But Deadly” uphill combined with the harsh head wind.

The funny thing about wind: When it is with you and you are biking, you know it’s there but can’t really feel it. When it’s a crosswind, you feel it and might get some resistance. But when it’s in your face, YOU KNOW IT.

Thus, for the title of the post, the inbound trip was me flying with pleasure. The return trip was me dragging with agony. Or, as I said on the MapMyRide summary:

“Eastbound was 95 minutes of mostly downhill downwind pleasure. Ergo westbound was 135 minutes of TORTURE!”

But, given that I want to train for the North Shore Century on September 18, I better keep going with these rides even when they involve headwindy, uphill, torture chambers!

===========================================

Kenosha: 14 days.

Orientation: 28 days.

Day 1: 53 days.

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2 thoughts on “Flying and dragging

  1. I hate cycling against the wind. If I have to go on a cycle journey on a windy day, I always hope it’ll be against the wind on the way going rather than on the way back. The alternative is just too terrible to contemplate.

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    • Fully agree! Unless I am cycling to work or the synagogue, in which case I would want the way THERE to be easier.

      Then again, this wasn’t nearly as bad as when I rode nearly 100 miles against the wind in 2011 on an organized ride.

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