Day 308: Cycling into a headwind

7 11 2010

It was another beautiful day today, so Carrick and I took a 12-mile round-trip ride out to the Water Tower. I’m getting more used to the traffic on the two-lane part of River Road. One reason why I enjoy riding this road is the lack of traffic signals or stop signs. It’s just a nice flat stretch of road (parts of which need to be repaved) that enables me to ride faster than I normally do when I ride through town.

Most of the time when I ride, I tend to ride at a comfortable pace, which makes for an enjoyable ride, but it also probably doesn’t do much to increase my endurance or sprinting. This afternoon, we were riding at 17-19 mph (I usually average around 12.5). About half way to our destination, it occurred to me that we were probably riding with a tailwind, although it didn’t seem particularly windy today. I preferred to convince myself that the increased speed came from getting in better shape.

On the way back home, I quickly realized my delusional thinking really didn’t do me any favors. What earlier seemed like a fairly easy ride felt a good bit more difficult once we realized we were riding into a headwind. According to today’s stats at Weather Underground, the max wind speed today was 12 mph with gusts to 15. Around 1 p.m. when we were out riding, the wind was coming from the south at 4.6 mph. We joked that it never fails — no matter where we ride or which direction we travel, we always seem to have the headwind on way home. I’ve had this happen on several group rides and also the 50-mile ride Carrick and I did out to Farnsley-Moreman a few months ago. It’s always fun to get 25 miles from home, turn around to ride back and realize the majority of that part of the ride is going to be into a stiff headwind. (I just tell myself it’ll burn more calories.) In fact, Cycling Performance Tips has some great information on riding into a headwind. For example, doubling your air speed (ground speed plus head wind speed) will more than double the calories expended per mile traveled.

I’m telling myself that the calories I burned riding into the headwind today justified the chicken fajitas and guacamole I ate for dinner tonight. 🙂 And that’s why I’m in Weight Watchers ….

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter = 3 points
— 1 cup LF chocolate milk = 3 points
— 1/2 banana = 1 point

Lunch:
— 1/4 cup hummus = 2 points
— 1 apple = 1 point

Dinner:
— 2 chicken fajitas = 8 points
— Iced tea = 0 points
— 1/4 cup guacamole = 2 points

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Exercise:
— 60 minute bike ride (13 mph average) = +7 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

         _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.

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