Took off like a shot this morning on my bike an hour before work; figured I'd trek one direction and return halfway through the hour - as motivation. I decided to turn back early to compensate for fatigue, potential grades, and trains - the latter due to the active railroad which historically founded this town. What I didn't compensate for, was wind.
I've often said I hated the wind here, and can finally quantify my analysis. The stupid wind wasn't just gusting (unless 300-second sustained duration is "gusty" on an atmospheric scale), it was wrecking havoc on my entire ride back. At one point I was in the lowest gear possible out of 21-speeds, my legs were like pistons on the pedals, on a completely flat stretch - going two miles an hour - slower than walking! I knew it wasn't just me when I slowly (oh so slowly) approached two mallards on the bank of the aqueduct I ride alongside, and they lifted into the air and hovered like hummingbirds, flapping like mad adjacent me. I would turn my head and give them a furtive glance, and they would stare back at me with equal unease from their beady single eye-of-prey. This went on far too long, a veritable illusion of forward movement.
But at some point, I did make it back. Thankfully, I'd strapped my bluetooth under my helmet and dialed-in; the iPhone makes a fantastic cycling computer, GPS...and mobile office!