Obstacles and Opportunities: Wind

Yesterday, I rode my bike from Inglewood over to Edgehill to volunteer for Walk Bike Nashville as a Walk Bike University instructor. I decided I would take Gallatin Pike down to South 10th Street and over to Woodland so I could pick up some tasty treats from Yeast Nashville for a snack between classes.

Normally, I wouldn’t take Gallatin Pike for too long (I have to get on it in order to cut down to Riverside, which is generally the way I go into Five Points and then to downtown), but it was early enough on a Saturday morning – plus, Gallatin has just been repaved and is quite literally a dream to ride on.

Not sure if headwind or just unfit - Fry from Futurama
I think of this every time I am riding into the wind.

The weather was finally perfect – a little chilly, but sunny; gorgeous and cool. What I didn’t count on was the wind. O boy, the wind!

Whenever it’s windy, you just have to accept that it’ll either be in your face or at your back and you have to hope for the latter and prepare for the former. Wind can definitely slow down your ride and you should try to account for it. One thing that bike riders know about is the weather.

I arrived at the class site with just enough time to coordinate with my co-instructor and to cool down from the ride. Had I not taken Gallatin Pike, I would definitely have been late. Just shaving 2 or 3 miles off of my ride – despite the wind – helped me to make it to my destination with time to spare.

How you navigate to your destination will depend on how comfortable you are riding on certain roadways. Your best route is the one that makes you the happiest. If you’re happy going out of your way to avoid heavily-trafficked roadways, make sure you buffer a little extra time. If you weigh the benefit of a more direct route (and account for factors like wind which will slow you down even more), and ride confidently, you can also be happy.

I was buffeted sideways more than once yesterday, and I also shook my fist at the wind gusts more than once, too. But whether it was wind on my face or wind on my back, I had plenty of reasons to smile – because I was on my bike.

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