I have developed this (irrational?) fear of the wind.
I can trace its roots back to last year’s state time trial championship. The one where the start was delayed while an Armageddon-like storm blew through, threatening to lift the registration canopy off the ground even though 6 of us were holding it down.
After the storm the skies cleared but the wind remained — strong crosswinds with big gusts on the majority of the course. I don’t know how high the gusts were, but they were high enough to make me afraid riding the TT bike. Several times I felt like I was on the verge of losing control of the bike. Then I was stupid enough to ride it a second time, as part of a 2-man TT.
But those kinds of conditions are rare, right?
And then this spring happened. For the last month or so it has seemed like every training ride and every race have been battles with the wind. It’s gotten to the point where I’m afraid to train on the TT bike for fear of being blown into passing cars. I just can’t seem to get past that phobia, with the memory of the state TT flashing in my head.
Last week I did the Presque Isle TT. It’s right on Lake Erie. Which makes the wind even worse. Warming up, it didn’t seem too bad. I thought I could handle it. Then at about mile 4 the course was exposed to the open water. A nasty crosswind was coming from the right, with pretty big gusts. Bad enough that I couldn’t stay down in the aero bars.
Well, I could have stayed in the aero bars. Other people did. But I just couldn’t get past that fear of being blown over, or blown over the yellow line. So I rode about a mile and a half sitting up, until the course turned away from the open water. Which didn’t help my time very much.
This bugged me all the way home. So much so that I got back out on the TT bike and rode another 2.5 hours in the wind, to convince myself that I could do it. Which I could, but I also wasn’t using the TT wheels.
I’m wondering what to do about this. One option is to just get fat so the wind will have a harder time blowing me around.