I asked my wife if she had caught the weather report last night. She told me that it’s going to practically be the same as the last few days. Problem is, is that I can’t prepare properly on “practically”. She asked me if knowing that the weather would vary slightly, would really alter the way I would dress. I answered solemnly, “Yes”. I continued to put on my nightcap slide the wooden bar across the door and extinguish the flame on the torch outside our chambers.
The weather report that I found predicted that the temperature would be in the low 40’s with a slight wind. Fast forward…
I’m getting blown off the road in that slight wind. Today I felt as though my coffee cup was half full so I was happy enough to not have been blown into traffic. I tried to limit the amount of drag I was causing by tucking in and riding with my hands on the bars right at the stem. That chestnut usually helps a bit, but not when the wind in diagonal. I thought that a staggered drafting technique such as the “Belgium Method” would do the trick, but organizing the laborers on route to their jobs just seemed more like more work than necessary.
After being pummeled for 40 minutes on my left side, I turned directly into the wind so I could get blasted in the face. With any luck on my ride home I will even it off, by getting it on my right side. That is true balance.
I wanted nothing more than to cheat the wind at this point. A tractor trailer pulled alongside of me. Then it hit me, that a tractor trailer had pulled alongside of me! If I could hop into it’s draft I could get a break for at least 1/4 of a mile. The trucker popped the clutch as if he ran Top Fuel funny cars when he wasn’t hauling trash and I struggled to catch any of his 18 wheels. An abysmal failure and worst, energy I hadn’t wanted to expend.
I hold no love for people jaywalking. It’s dangerous, rude and often interrupts a really good cadence. I always had rules against hitting unsuspecting organic road furniture of a certain age. For objects 10 and below and 60 and up I would swerve, willing to put myself in harms way to avoid hitting them. All other ages? Good luck to you. An elderly lady tries to make a go for it in the middle of a busy road. I see ahead that she’s stuck, because no one driving ever had a grandma, so I figure that I would pull into traffic, slow up and sit up hoping that the people behind me wouldn’t blare on their horns and force me to unclick, un-mount and hoist my bike over my head while screaming primaly, “Wake-up!” much like Dap in School Daze. Didn’t go down that way.
I began cruising at about 17mph. Nothing sexy. I see two pedestrians crossing opposite in the walk while I had the green. I don’t know whether they had seen me or not and I truly didn’t care being as I had the right of way. One of my favorite pastimes as a messenger was threading the human needle. As best as you can, you predict a tiny sliver in the herd crossing the asphalt plain, you then plot your course by inches, feet or even millimeters in some cases, accelerate or decelerate to taste and let physics do the rest. That’s city riding at it’s most fun.
I got to a Strava segment I had created. Somebody took the KOM and I began dreaming of taking the slot back when I got hit in the face by the wind again at which point I sat up and easily crested the hill into the office.