On the project side of things, the week has been about upgrading photographs without using to stock photos from someone we don’t know. I remembered that bit about loosing viewers in the first 8 seconds and those photos right there at 8 seconds, they were the weakest in the whole video. Then I remembered I had a childhood friend who takes beautiful bird photography. Saved!
On the training side I’ve added another parameter to my go/no go criteria for rides. Wind speed. It’s been windy all week. I don’t know what the wind speed was for the ride I mentioned last week, but the next time I rode Big Creek, there were more trees down.
The next ride, two days later was also windy. I know my wind speed recommendations for ballooning, but until that ride I didn’t have a personal limit for riding. The forecast was 17 MPH, that was too much. There were a couple of times I got off and walked the bike for a small stretch to keep from toppling over. In one particular spot where the wind was blowing freely over the sewage treatment plant, it was funneling through the tree lined road leading to the plant. Right where I crossed that intersection with that road I was fighting to keep the bike upright and afraid to try to stop. I did stop at the rest spot just east of that.
This cutie with unclipped ears bounced out of the bushes down trail while I caught my wits. He paused, seeming to size me up, then came over to these plates. The food was covered in biting flies. He wasn’t interested. This was his last look at me before he took off. I think he was hoping I’d give him something a little fresher, though I hadn’t noticed it there on the way out.
I was maybe 20 yards from the spot where I’d been fighting to keep the bike upright and those paper plates were just sitting there. The wind currents were certainly curious. The wind was worst in the open areas and there were bushes and trees here, but this was a drastic difference in a short distance.
We don’t stop at these benches often. It is a good spot for a rest but you can often smell the sewage plant. Also, this and another bench at the top of a hill near the cow pastures are the only two places I’ve been bit by biting flies. The last time we stopped here we saw an armadillo. I wonder if he too was looking for a hand out.
After this week, I have a fresh respect for paying attention to wind speed. Normally it is attached to other weather that I don’t ride in, like thunderstorms, but I really need to look at it as a separate data point during weather like we had over the last 10 days or so.
For now, I’m gonna go with 12mph as the upper limit of a ride. I’l adjust from there. It could be that the gusts in the open areas were more than 17 mph. Those open areas will always be there though. Not only did the wind make difficult riding, It increases the risks that tree falls are coming across the trail while on it, and probably increases motion noise, possibly greater than what the auto-stabilization in the goPro corrects.
I’ll save the rest for next week.
Have a glorious day and we’ll see you on the trail!