8 mph. That’s what my GPS displayed as I attempted to descend one of my favorite hills this morning. Yes, descend. At 8 mph. In the small ‘ring, and pedaling with all my might. To say that I was battling a fierce headwind would be a colossal understatement.
I seriously considered turning around and going back home, but as I was almost half-way to work, I figured that the worst was over. Wrong. The aforementioned headwind was now blowing sideways, and I struggled to remain (1) upright, and (2) on the road. I must have looked quite odd to the passing cars as I leaned into the wind at what felt like a 45-degree angle.
About three miles from work, the wind began to die down. There were a few gusts, but nothing like the gales that had plagued me for the previous nine miles. Gone was my white knuckle grip, and I was able to use the big chainring again. I wheelied over fallen branches, and maneuvered my way around a huge SUV that blocked the bike lane.
Reaching down, I pressed the STOP button on my GPS. 1:03. A little slower than usual, but not terribly so. One hot shower later, I sat at my desk, wondering what the ride home would bring.