I had a two hour ride to do today and decided that I would head straight up from my home along Plenty Road towards Whittlesea.  I figured that the road was wide enough (with 3 lanes) through the built up areas that it would be okay to ride the trike.  It was great because once I got to Bundoora there was a great bike lane that started from there.  So I decided that I would just ride for an hour then turn around and head back.  What I didn’t expect was that it would be so windy!

Today the expected temperature was to be 32 degrees so for me the best thing is get out early so that I am finished before it gets too hot.  My MS doesn’t really like the heat as I tend to lose the feeling in my hands and the pins and needles that I live with tend to spread!  So I was on the road at 7am and the best thing was that there wasn’t much traffic to contend with.  But I also didn’t realise that heading north to Whittlesea would be very hilly as well.  Actually mostly uphill with the odd little dip!

2012-12-13 07.18.34

Climbing hills at a recent camp in Bright

As I continued on my way I was buffeted by the most amazing head wind but as I got farther out of the city limits into open roads the wind became a cross wind!  And dealing with that wind AND the uphill terrain got me thinking as I pushed myself farther away from home, what was worse 1. head wind 2. cross-head wind or 3. hills?  Now with 3 wheels when you get hit by a cross-head wind if you aren’t holding on for dear life you will lose control.  I found that it was important to hang on but not stiffen your body, just keep pedaling.  And because trikes are definitely not sleek or aero-dynamic if you are trying to pedal into a big head wind it almost stops the trike!

So on that ride north this morning I decided that yes I would rather climb the highest mountain than deal with a cross-head wind or even a plain head wind!  I came up with a new mantra pushing through that wind this morning and kept saying it for almost 1 hour and 16 minutes: “I love wind, I love wind, I love wind”!  Did I believe it in the end – NO!  But I will continue to push myself because you just never know what you will have to contend with during a race.

I was looking forward to turning around though to make my way home and because it was making me ride a tad bit slower than I would have been if there was no wind I went farther than the hour, as I said earlier I continued on for another 16 minutes because I knew that I would fly home with a tail wind, or at least I hoped that it would be a tail wind!  Lucky for me when I turned around I did fly home.  What took me 1:16 going only took me 52 minutes coming home!  And it was downhill,  absolutely loved it, hitting just over 50 km/hr at one point! (I know my mom will cringe at that speed, but really mom I’m okay!)

At the start of my ride this morning I had a bit of doubt as whether I would be able to ride through this wind, but I learnt that the way to get beyond doubt is not by focusing on that doubt, but to get beyond it with action.  So I say bring on the wind!  Don’t doubt yourself in any task, just get on with it!

 

About the author : CarolC

5 Comments

  1. Marjorie Jenkins 27/12/2012 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Way to go Carol. My old bones started to ache just thinking about tackling the hills.
    Love your new post. Love you always , Aunt Marjorie.

  2. Dan Price 28/12/2012 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Hi Carol,

    I tread your headwinds Vs Cyclists blog yesterday and was given to thinking about it as I headed south down Eastlink this morning – straight into a strong southerly breeze. As I was crossing the high bridges over the Monash freeway and the Eastlink Tollway I was buffeted around & blown sideways. I can imagine that on a trike it would be easy to be blown over if you were caught in a sudden gust.

    In the old days they used to teach us that “you can’t fight the wind” . It seems that as you try harder to go faster – the force of the wind increases exponentially. The only way to successfully handle it is to get down in a very low gear and go slowly – just winch your way into the wind.

    The reason I asked about locations was that (a few years ago) I did chat to a lady riding a trike between Rushall Station and Royal Park. I remember it because there aren’t many about.

    Anyway, sounds like you’re in good spirits and I trust you’ll be enthusiastic enough to try again for another medal in 2016.

    Regards,

    Dan

    • Carol C 29/12/2012 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Dan you are so right, it is so much easier to not fight it and just get into a low gear and pedal your way through it!
      That may have been me if it was between Rushall and Royal Park as a couple of times I have commuted through there. If it was a couple of years ago it would have been on my first old steel frame red trike! Much better being on a carbon fibre frame now! Alot fitter and faster now too!
      I think I will take the next 4 years a year at a time. First is winning the World Champs next year! But time will tell, I’ve never been to Rio, so would be fantastic.

  3. Dan Price 28/12/2012 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Ooops, just noticed spelling mistake “tread” should be “read”.

  4. crawford Jenkins 29/12/2012 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Pleased to see that you are keeping in shape – we wouldn’t want you to get all fat and flabby. You would enjoy training in Manitoba. We are a bit short on hills but wind we have -big time. The nor-westers start at the foothills of the Rockies in Alberta and gain speed as they blow east into Manitoba. Trouble is we can’t always go down wind. Keep up the good work.

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