Thursday was forecast to be the warmest day of the week, but also the windiest. When I set out the temperature was 52°F (11°C) but dropped to 49°F (9°C) by the time I returned. But the winds were insane. I have never biked in anything like it before. When I started they were a sustained 37 MPH and gusting up to 46 MPH almost directly from the west. I get my riding weather data from the METAR
report from the Middleton Airport
, which I ride by on my Airport-Ashton loop, so I know accurately reflects what I experience. Going into the wind I had to work hard for a speed of 8 MPH. Quisling Park right by the airport has an area to let dogs run. As I was working hard to keep my 8 MPH a dog trotted beside me. He almost looked confused as to why I wasn't going faster so he could give chase.
The first part of the Airport-Ashton run is west, then just past the airport goes north to Ashton. North wasn't much easier. The winds were so strong I was actually leaning to the left in order to maintain balance. Then came St Peter Church in Ashton when I turn east. Suddenly my speeds were though the roof. I was able to hold speeds of around 30 MPH on County K, getting as high at 37 MPH at one point. There are no real hills on this road as it is mostly flat, but with the tailwind I was moving. I was going so fast that in my top gear I couldn't get any torque peddling as fast as I could—I ran my gears out.
The east leg of the trip was over fairly quick, and I had to fight the side wind as I headed south—at least until I got into the trails where I had trees as a wind break. When I returned I checked the weather again. Winds had slowed to a sustained 23 MPH guesting up to 37 MPH. I pretty sure those are the strongest winds I have ever biked.