It forced me to lean left a little to keep the bike upright.
The wind also removed 10 miles an hour from my bike computer.
The ride was put together by a fellow member of the Bombay Bicycle Club. I just joined the group this year and was excited to give a group ride a try.
Sunday started in the low 30s, but was up to 40 when we left Vilas Park around 10.
As they say "it's not the cold, it's the wind chill." Still, I was prepared for the cold and didn't feel so bad other than riding with a parachute on my back (figuratively).
The first half of the ride was south by southwest, the same direction from which the wind was blowing.
Seven or eight of us took off and made our way thru the U.W. Arboretum. Even on the tree-lined two lane road, the wind, at times, made its presence known. But when we got out of town with nothing to block the wind it seemed to push us backwards.
I'd like to think it was the wind which pushed me back. While it wasn't a race; I wanted to stay with the group. But a couple of full on doses of wind meant playing catch up.
The last I saw of the riders in front of me was when I was going down hill past a road, looked to the right, and two were just cresting a hill.
The route offered alternate directions and since I knew where I was, I continued south until meeting up with a country road which led me back to the Badger State Trail and a ride to Madison with the wind at my back.
Riding with the wind is soooo much better. Instead of struggling to hit 12 mph into it, I was comfortably riding in the 20s.
There was no promise the group ride was a "no drop" where "no rider is left behind," so it didn't bother me to lose contact with the rest of the group.
For the second ride of the year and in slightly adverse conditions, it was an excellent workout.
It also let me know I've got some training and improving to do before getting out there on longer more difficult routes.
24 miles later and back at my car, I checked out the route map I tucked in my jersey pocket. It turns out I only cut about 4 miles off the alternative short route offered by the ride director.
Next time, I'll hope to stay with the group. #RideWisconsin