The Longest Seven Miles

In case I haven’t mentioned, moving sucks. I missed the Team in Training sendoff ride (and accompanying party) on 3/1. While the team was riding and pot-lucking, Charles and I scrambled to get the last bits and pieces out of the San Jose house before the landlords beat us with sticks. I decided to make up for it by riding the trail near my new place. The trail runs right along the bay, about a block from my house. I have no idea where it starts or ends; no better day than today to explore! I knew that I probably wouldn’t get in a full thirty miles (my guess is that the trail is somewhere between 10-20 miles long), but anything had to be an improvement over my slated plan – nothing.

So, I dug through boxes (and trash bags…we are classy packers) to locate my bike gear, lamented the fact that the bike hadn’t cleaned herself from the mud and whatnot acquired over the last 3 weeks of wet rides, suited up and headed out. Two right turns, a quick street crossing, and I was on the trail. Pretty, no?

And then came the wind. Headwind, crosswind, tailwind…this place had it all. I intentionally started into the headwind, knowing that I’d be hating life trying to fight through it on the way home. Head down, teeth gritted, I rolled out and could not for the life of me get my speed up above that posted 15mph. Heck, I was lucky to hit 12!! Ten minutes in I was pretty sure that this ride was a lost cause. Two miles in (notice how those aren’t the same thing?) I felt like I’d been climbing for a good hour. I’ve never been in winds like this before! At mile three I decided to turn around and try the trail the other direction from the house. Maybe it curved in such a way that I’d get cross or tail winds coming home, because I wasn’t going another 10 miles straight into that gale-force at freakin’ 8mph.

Knowing that it was a gamble, but not wanting to have donned spandex for a 3 mile ride, I turned around and tried the other direction. And all was good for about …ten minutes. I sped past a few pedestrians, enjoyed the change of scenery (see the spiffy crane that stood still for several pictures?), and generally had a good ride. Right up until the point that the trail bent right again. I honestly have no clue how it is possible for wind to be in my face one way…and then again when I turn the exact opposite way… (any meteorologist-types care to explain?) but it was.

I kept going for another two miles before calling it quits in disgust. I was five miles in and more tired than after any hill repeats I’d ever done. And its not like this road could be any more flat. I could not possibly have gotten this out of shape with one week off; it just wasn’t a good ride day. The trail was nice…flat, almost entirely well paved, not crowded, with new scenery…but even the sunny weather couldn’t make up for that wind. I hit the driveway with just over 7 miles under my belt – the longest miles I’ve ever ridden.

Motion Based ride data


1 Response to “The Longest Seven Miles”

  1. 1 Dr. Leslie Brown June 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Funny story & great effort! Personally, I’d rather cycle up a mountain than into a headwind. You just never know if that atrocious wind will stop.

    Better luck with the next ride!

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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