Today was by far the most difficult day I’ve ever ridden a bike. What I did not know until I got out into the weather was how extreme the wind was in Fort Collins. If you’re lucky, having wind at your back is not so bad unless it’s too strong. Crosswinds and strong gusts however, can be extremely dangerous as I found out on my way home. Even seasoned, professional riders struggle with sudden, unexpected gusts. This is what I learned today from this experience:
- Check the weather report every morning/evening ~ being a year-round bike commuter is easier, safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared and plan routes accordingly.
- Walk when too windy ~ for me, over 25-30 mph with gusting winds.
- Secure sunglasses when riding ~ which are now gone with the wind and run over by a car on S. College. Dang!
- Be prepared to identify another mode of transportation if prolonged, high winds are predicted.
- Stop or walk ~ get off your bike and take a break or walk it if necessary.
- Keep your cell phone charged ~ if you’ve got an emergency of any kind, you need to be able to communicate and get help if you need it.
- Cary cover for mouth/nose ~ the amount of dust, construction debris, or whatever was in the air created a thick cloud that I inhaled the whole way home. My lungs, sinuses, and eyes were inflamed and irritated for well over a day and I had difficulty talking due to my lungs feeling like they were congested. A bandana could have been a handy thing to have today.