Gusty.. 

Today’s ride was a short easy one, well apart from the wind. 

It was a constant wind, according to the met office 25mph. And man could I feel it. 

As always on the short route to Ripley and back, it’s a tail wind down Bilton Lane, headwind along the cycle path and a nasty sidewind/tailwind on the busy main road to Ripley. Coming back, and the wind was blasting me from the side and front, but back on the cycle path, it was a tailwind. It’s that moment, where you can’t feel the wind, it appears calm, apart from the leaves moving. It isn’t until you stop you feel the wind again. 

Heading back off to Bilton Lane, dreading the headwind that I was bound to encounter going back up, I crossed the viaduct, and on. A couple where walking their scratty little dog off lead, and something told me that it was going g to wander. And surely enough it sauntered right in front. I stopped just short of its nose. And it just stood there, giving me a distainful look. With a muttered “sorry” the owners wandered off. 

And back onto Bilton Lane. And there was my enemy, that wind. Bilton Lane acts like a giant wind funnel, and I’m battling through it. Half way up, and I’m averaging 300w just to try and maintain 10mph, even with me as compacted as possible to present a smaller area for the wind,  But eventually, the end was insight. With my heart feeling like it was about to burst I finally turned off into the shelter of St John’s church. 

But then, another wind tunnel on St John’s road, before the mother of all headwinds on Skipton road. But home I was.. 

Brutal wind

I can handle most weather, be it rain, hail, snow or heat. But wind is my nemesis. 

This ride was one of the worst for wind I can remember. It started as a tailwind, turned to a headwind, and then, just to test me, a sidewind on a busy main road.. 

All good fun resistance training.. 

A little Windy

It was a really windy couple of days here. Gusts up to 45mph, which to be honest, felt sustained rather than gusts.

I decided, as the wind had died down a little the next day, I’d head out for a quick ride. I wanted to get out the house, and check out the new new features on the Garmin 510, that have been released with Firmware 3.40. Namely the Segment support.

Associated Ride: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/3965218
Associated Ride: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/3965218

On the cycle path toward Ripley, I was having to avoid some rather large sticks, and parts of tree that threatened to enter the spokes and throw me if I went anywhere near. The I rounded the corner and saw the casualty of the wind.

A rather large conifer had fallen right over the path, blocking it all. the only way round was to pick the bike up and walk round it cyclocross style.

At times I was having to lean at quite an angle to deal with the wind. It was pretty much a headwind all the way to Ripley, and quite a struggle to keep a half decent pace going.

On the way back, the effect of the wind was dramatic, as it was pretty much a tailwind for parts, effort was’nt really needed to move forward at  a pace that saw me get some good times according to the new feature on my Garmin.

My best previous time was set on the 23rd of December at a time of 10:41. Today it was some 23 seconds quicker, at 10:18. Even having to get off the bike, and carry it round the downed tree I was so much quicker, mostly due to the tailwind I had.

Heading back up Bilton Lane however, was a whole different story. The wind only ever comes one way, and thats down. With a side wind when you pass a gap in the houses. It was impossible to keep any speed up, or a central line as I passed the houses. It was virtually impossible. It was pretty much my worst time ever on the Lane. The wind was just vicious. It was at this time, I decided enough was enough and gave up, and headed home.

But on the bright side, the new features on the 510 worked very well, and the segment support is excellent.

Wet and Wild

I parked the car, and the first thing I thought was bloody hell. The wind was howling outside the car, which was rocking in the wind. The rain was hitting the side windows like little bullets.

I stepped out the car, and pulled my boots out, and my windproof. Changing into the boots on the far side of the car, out of the wind and rain, I considered my self nuts for going out in this. But I don’t care. I’m outside in the fresh air.

Walking along the path into the wind, my windproof doing its job and keeping the worst of the wind out, but the rain stinging my face, like sandpaper. It was 2 miles before the path became sheltered, and another half mile to the walkers shelter. I ploughed through, hating my self for forgetting my Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap.

In the warmth of the shelter I sat and watched the rain falling. During the summer, you cant really use these shelters due to swallows nesting in them, as evidenced by the nests in the eves, and the filth dropping from the timber roof frames where the fledglings sit. But for now they are a welcome respite from the wind and rain.I considered putting ion water proofs, but as my legs are already wet, and very mud splatted, I decided it was a dead idea. My windproof was also wet, but as it holds the warmth even when wet, I just decided to plod on. The rain had more or less stopped, it was very light rain if anything. Still noticeable but nothing as bad as before.

Leaving the shelter and walked round the back, and up the hill. Not a very steep hill, but enough to remind me of how unfit I am. I stopped at the top and tried to pin point the noise of  a shotgun, I saw a Land rover on the hill, but couldn’t see any other obvious movement of shooters. A tractor was busy spreading hay for the fell sheep on the other side of the valley.

I doubled back, the way I had come, along a higher path. After all, this was purely a effort to check my leg for pain and see how it stood up to a rough walk. As I approached the only gate on this path, a all terrain motorcycle roared up to the gate, saw me walking and turned around and sped off the same way he had come. This path was open to all vehicles, it was re-classified by the authority a few years back, but the motorcycles still occasionally use it. Personally I don’t care. The road can take the traffic, its heavy stoned, and motor bikes cause little damage. If they where to start ripping up areas off the path however, that’s when it becomes a issue.

I walked the road, finding new and interesting rounds around many of the stupidly deep huge puddles all over.

Scar House was thundering, the first time I’ve seen the dam outflows in full force, raging down the Nidd. As I walked back to the car, I passed a couple, dressed in full waterproofs, hoods up and zipped right up. They looked me up and down, and gave me a look reminiscent of upper class looking down on the commoner. I don’t care, apart from being damp, I was fine. Warm and comfy. Given the weather, I would hazard a guess, after climbing Cam High Road onto the fell, they would be damp too, only from the inside out. I sniggerd and walked on.

Back to the car, I sat and had a coffee. I enjoy every walk, in all weathers.