Again, the weather had pretty much left the normally full coast path deserted - actually that's probably not the whole truth... I should really mention that a large section has been closed due to subsidence caused by the stormy weather. As the signs had blown away, we carried on none-the-wiser. Like last time, I had very little control of my bike if I stopped pedalling. Thankfully, this time I had Mullerton with me for moral support. Somehow, we managed to get to our destination, despite a moment of doubt on my behalf when we first got on to the coastal path. The memory of that first gale-force-encounter was just too great and it took me a while to shake it off.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
So, do you remember me waffling last month about attempting to ride across the local coastal path but being stopped dead in my tracks by the howling winds? Since that ride I have done the same route on a number of occasions, sometimes pretty effortlessly but this week that wind was back... with a vengeance. It wasn't just windy near the oceans edge - it was pretty much a headwind or crosswind all the way from our front door to our destination. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of the yummy chips on the harbour and knowing that it really couldn't be this hard riding home.
Normally, I am now able to make pretty short work of the draggy hill out of our village and then I usually enjoy the speedy descent into the next village. However, this time the wind was against me. The downhill that I normally whizz down without any effort, required constant hard pedalling just to keep moving forward.
Things still weren't looking good through the next village -my overall speed was slow. It was such hard work! I was battered! Pfft! That was before we had even reached the coast path - who knows what the wind would be like there; coming straight off the ocean.
The chips were worth the struggle and I enjoyed every mouthful before we set back on our adventure. Ahhhhhhh... the bliss of having the wind with you. The first leg back on the coast path was easy, averaging 18mph without any effort. Weeeeeeeeeeee! This was great! That is until we hit the village before ours. A big turn in the road meant we suddenly hit a wall of wind - face on! Oh my! My speed suddenly fell as I struggled against the wind and it took what seemed like hours to ride only a few hundred metres. Phewph.... the road turned and we had the wind behind us again. Next was a big hill that I have never managed to complete without stopping for a breather (or two - sometimes three). This time I made it up the first (and hardest stretch) without stopping. Whoopeee! Thank you wind! I then managed to complete the next draggy section without too much of a struggle.
I made it home, happy! If my lungs could survive those winds, they can survive anything. It just shows how much fitter I have become! A few months ago, my lungs would have shrunk to the size of peas the moment that cold ocean wind hit them. If my determination ever starts to falter at least I can remind myself of that!