I like riding up hills. Long, gradual hills. Short, steep hills. Long, steep hills! Know why? The payoff. You get to coast down the other side. And isn't that what riding a bike is all about? Covering distance with little to no effort.
Riding into the wind is like riding uphill. And when you're riding into the wind all day, there's no payoff. Coast? You're dreamin', pal. That's what my day was like.
After touring the canyons of downtown Detroit for a bit, I headed into the wind. On flat roads with no wind, my fully loaded bike and I can cruise with all day comfort at 16 mph. Today, traveling east into a quartering headwind, 11 mph. was about it. Turning north, into the wind, and the speed fell to 10….9…..8 mph. It was like that all day. North, then east. East, then north. Except for a short stretch between New Baltimore and Algonac, where the road turned south, skirting the northeast shore of Lake St. Clair. Here I was finally able to hit the big chainring and, lightly touching the pedals, zip along at 23 mph. No Sweat.
Things are different on the bike at those higher speeds. Tires barely skimming the road surface. Butt barely skimming the saddle. There's a feeling of weightlessness. At 10 mph. there's just weight. Especially at the RBI. Rider-Bike Interface.
I had hoped to make it to Lakeport State Park, north of Port Huron for the night. But as I rounded the bend heading north out of Algonac, I caught the full force of the wind coming straight down the St. Clair River. 7 mph. was all I could muster.
The thought of another 5 hours in the saddle to bag that last 35 miles did not appeal to me. Especially since the wind could very well be out of the south tomorrow.
I pulled into Algonac State Park, a glorified RV parking lot. Not my kind of camping. But with a little scouting I found a nice woodlot to hang my hammock for the night. Just into to woods far enough for shelter from the wind, yet enough breeze to blow the mosquitos away.
I'm feeling windblown, and maybe a little eroded. But I'll take a day on the bike any time!
Ride ON! Jim
Day 3 mileage: 77.6
Total trip mileage: 134
Asana (Yoga pose) of the day:
Bhujangasana (Cobra) – the perfect antidote for being hunched over the handlebars all day.
Song stuck in my head:
Like a Hurricane by Neil Young