Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wind in paradise

I packed my mountain bike and flew phoenix. My college roommates and I then drove the 8 hours to Moab Utah for a weekend of riding and reverting. 

Two of us are turning 40 this year and we became friends when we were 16.  We also first went to Moab in 1996 to ride bikes.  Since then, we've made the pilgrimage many times and left our skin and blood on trails all over the area.

This year, we started by riding down from the LaSalle's on Kokapelli trail to Porcupine Rim trail.  Totally epic day with clear sky, no wind and only a little trail rash.

On Saturday we took an easier day and went to Klondike Bluff so I could show one of the guys dinosaur tracks.  We finished this ride and they were going to drive the 20 miles back to town and I decided to ride because I needed more time on the bike.

It was at this point that the wind was "freshening" which means, I started to notice there was a wind.  By the time I got to the highway, the wind was way beyond fresh, it was downright howling.  It took me 2 hours to rice 20 miles.  I had to pedal downhill.  I was searching for gears on the flats and did one of those head down 4 MPH slogs on the uphills.

The main thing that occupied my mind other than trying to move and stay on the bike was whether this was worse than the lava fields of Kona. 

I finally made it to town, showered and ate and felt like a champion.  I hate wind and felt strong for mentally getting through the storm.

I thought it would be better by the next day but instead were were met with even more wind.  It absolutely howled.  My friends were to ride down Gemini Bridges as a quick easy ride before heading out of town, and I ran shuttle and was to ride up the trail and meet them. 

The first hill is a little over a mile long and was conveniently positioned to allow the full fury of 30 + MPH wind to constantly hit me in the face.  I had a hard time staying balanced on the rough sections of the climb.  Meanwhile, my friends were hitting epic speeds on their way to meet me.  I got an amazing workout and trashing and they had a ride of their lives.

I still hate wind, but coming into this part of my training, I was lacking confidence on the bike, I didn't think I was strong enough physically or mentally, thanks to wind in paradise, I think I can handle wind, even if it comes in Boise, Bend, or Vineman.

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