Friday, March 11, 2011

The Lean-Over-45-Degrees-in-the-Wind Day

The wind bike guy can be found here.

Wind always makes riding a bike interesting. Today I rode my bike to work for the first time in several weeks because it was cold and then I got sick...and I'm a wimp. Most of the ride was nice. Only a slight head wind for about 9 miles. Then I got to Denver West. It can be the nicest day in Denver and Denver West and South Golden Road can have hurricane force winds at the same time. Today was one of those days.

Wind can be annoying. On the section next to Denver West, the wind was blowing pretty hard in my face. But it wasn't horrible. I just bent over, held on to my drop-downs, and pushed through. It was bothersome, but not horrible.

The way Golden is situated, wind comes rushing down Clear Creek Canyon really fast, so Golden is a quite windy city at times. South Golden Road is a wind tunnel. There are hills on both sides with very few trees, so if you ride your bike on the road, the wind goes either with you or against you. Back in the day when I rode that road every day, it seemed like most days I would get a head wind when I went to school and then another head wind riding home. The wind on South Golden road can be absolutely ridiculous. It was a pain, getting to the top of the hill at King Soopers, but immediately when I started going downhill, the wind went out of control. If I had stopped pedaling, the wind would have brought me to a stop on a moderate downhill. It picked up tiny little rocks and dirt and blew them into my face. The wind was a pain, but I was mostly just in awe of how ridiculous it was.

A lot of people have asked me why I'm going to ride from Canada to Mexico and not from Mexico to Canada. It would make more sense to do it that way in the spring with Southern California being quite hot in the summer and Washington being rainy in the spring. I have three reasons why I'm going towards the south. The first is that I just want some really epic views to start out my ride, to get me excited about the ride and just enjoy myself. The second reason is that going south somehow feels like going downhill. The last reason is that the wind supposedly goes north to south along the Pacific Coast. It will change to blow north when the weather changes, but otherwise I should have a tailwind most of the way to Mexico! When I learned that tidbit of information, I just got even more excited about the ride.

I was doing a great job training until I got sick a week and a half ago. I'm at the point where I'm riding hour long easy rides and, a few times a week, riding more difficult stuff for shorter distances. My list of equipment to buy is shrinking. In the past several months I have acquired a bike, hydration system (aka waterbottle cage and waterbottle), bike shorts, bike pants, slightly broken bike shoes, tent, tarp, sleeping pad, bike computer, Pacific Bike Route maps, and a guide book. I have yet to acquire a riding partner, so if you want to come, let me know. Otherwise, I'll just experience the adventure of the decade by myself.


  1. Hello Jon BANKS,
    My name is Pierre-Yves GIRES, and I am the french "test pilote" of the picture... The name of the photographer is DAHOU. The name of my invention is WINDBIKE (Vélo à Voile, in french).
    So long,
    Pierre-Yves GIRES ;-)

    1. Hello Pierre,

      Thanks for stopping by. I realized that the photo on this page is the top Google image search result for 'wind bike' so I have included a link in the caption to your blog. Please let me know if you'd prefer I took the image down.

      Jon Banks