The PBAA was rocking it again – raising thousands of dollars for the Douglas Association for Retarded Citizen. Those folks at the PBAA are truly special people – they really make giving back to the community a priority. I’m glad to be a part of it. This year the group split up a lot earlier than I expected, and Tommy Bawden and I found ourselves in an increasingly stronger headwind heading east on I-10.
Around Wilcox, Tommy and I had split up and I was alone in the wind, 140 miles from the finish, so I switched to the TT bike to hind from the wind as much as possible. Having Al and Marty was awesome because, as always, Marty keep it lively and Al is so damn efficient! Between the provocative banana handoffs, to the full moon on a new moon night, to Marty’s wicked hairdo, there was rarely a dull moment.
As we got closer to Road Forks, the east wind was getting brutal – the worst I have ever seen it on the I-10 stretch in the 11 years I have done it. It got so bad that I had to switch back to the Somec road bike to do the last climb and descent to the turn at Road Forks. Longest it has ever taken to get to Road Forks – just short of 9 hours. The winds have been so wicked on Rt. 80 the last 5 years that I was expecting the same as I turn made the right turn onto it. It was a pleasant, but nerve-racking, surprise to have a nasty crosswind.
I had hopped back on the TT bike at the turn, with the disc on the back and the trispoke on the front. If my butt wasn’t so big, I would have been blown off the road!! When the road took me straight south, I tried to get low and put more weight on the front wheel because it was a dead straight crosswind. As the road would swing southwest, I could work the sails (the wheels and my butt) to snag a little extra speed.
Remember the big downhill that heads straight west, about 18 miles from Road Forks? That was wicked fast, but the road surface has decayed and it was one of those descents where you love the speed, but you end up fighting the desire to keep a death grip on the bars with the wind slapping you around! Finally getting to Apache, the road turns primarily west and I had a sweat tailwind, on and off, for the last 30 miles. It really felt like flying. Wish you could have been there!!!
Here’s the story from the Douglas Dispatch: www.douglasdispatch.com
Marty took the photos – and was not in a one of them – hopefully someone will send me a copy of the multitude that were taken at the finish line.
No wonder my ass hurt!
In the wind tunnel.