It is hard training on the weekends, in the winter, around here in Topeka. Of course the weather is hit and miss. It has pretty much been miss this year so far. This weekend, it is supposed to be “nice”. By nice today, I mean the upper 40’s today, but lower 60’s tomorrow. But it is also supposed to be in the 40 mph wind range too. That is usually the issue around here.
It is really windy in the spring and fall. I haven’t been around the whole month, but yesterday Bill told me he doesn’t think he’s ridden this year in a wind under 15-20 mph. I know I haven’t. It is a two edge sword. I really like the wind. I like riding into the wind and returning with a great tailwind. I don’t mind starting out with a tailwind and then, after getting warmed-up, turn around and fight my way back home. I tend to take our club rides out and back, mainly with side wind. When the riders ability levels are so great, as they are this time of the year, the draft is way more important.
The another side of the wind, it is very hard to keep training rides together when it is super windy. When it is super windy, the draft really isn’t all that good. It whips around the leading riders, making it harder for the guys behind. Plus, with gusts, it is harder to stay tight and in formation, thus, more resistance.
Not many riders from Topeka did a full cross season this year, so many of us are at our square ones. That doesn’t make for a lot of guys wanting to spend 20 minutes at a time pulling into a 30 plus mph headwind. I’m not looking forward to it.
Many times when it is this windy outside, I’d normally go out and ride gravel. But the gravel hasn’t really thawed up enough not to be mucky in the shade. If the sun doesn’t directly hit the road, then it is frozen solid with a thin layer of slim on top. Not good for groups, once again.
I tend to have pretty good form by the time March rolls around. I can thank the wind for this. There really isn’t an easy training ride around here until May. Kansas is the 3rd windiest state in the country. I like it.