I heard it said once that, ‘It ain’t that the wind be blowin’… It’s what the wind be blowin’, you need be concerned about because it could be blowin’ you!
In the last couple of days here in Edmonton, and all of Alberta for that matter, it’s been windy as hell. Gusts of up to 85km/h back on Sunday! I don’t know about you, but that is some crazy wind – the craziest I’ve ever experienced. Now, strangely enough I ended up going for a ride. I’d had it planned all week and didn’t want to cancel. I figured if we stuck to the range roads east of town where the it’s still pretty well forested, it might not be too bad. And well, I was right for part of the time.
Heading into the wind, man, did we have to hammer. But, the up side was, it was kinda fun and a great workout, plus we knew it was going to be a blast coming back, so we had that to look forward to. In fact, when we did make the turn around, with the wind at our back, we couldn’t help but test our top speeds. Where it got really bad though, was where we met the cross winds. We’d had a number of close calls thoughout the ride. It was a fierce battle to stay up, but we’d all held it together – that was till the last 5km.
We took a busier stretch of road back, and this made things really dangerous. Each time a car went by, it momentarily blocked the wind, and then blasted you with it once it past, making it a wobbly and swervey affair – I mean you needed to lean sideways into that wind to stay up. As one car blasted buy, I came within an inch of being sent into the ditch, but luckily I just held on (cool under pressure, haha). My pal wasn’t so fortunate though, getting blowed right over, ending up going ass over tea kettle into the ditch. All in all, thankfully he was fine save some scrapes and bruises, but it sure got us all thinking about just how stupid it was to be out there in those kind of conditions, trying to share the road with passing cars. It was totally nuts! I actually feel we were pretty lucky nothing worse happened.
Keep your heads up and the rubber side down, y’all.
Here’s a link to the annual world-wide Ride of Silence, honouring Cyclists injured or killed by motor vehicles. This year’s ride is scheduled for this Wednesday, May 18th. I’m not sure if one is happening in Edmonton this year. I checked the EBC site, and didn’t see an update for 2011. If anyone knows, shoot us a note.