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October 13, 2010

Chinook Winds: My Enemy

by hammonjj

Another week, another post. My coach still has me scheduled doing nothing but long endurance rides with a pretty moderate wattage ceiling and it’s been harder than you think! Mentally, it’s tough to keep concentration for long periods of time doing the same output for hours and physically it’s tough when you are riding into crazy winds.

Here in Boulder, we have something that’s referred to as the Chinook winds. While I don’t know why we get them, I’ve heard it has something to do with the way air comes off the mountains, it provides seriously high winds coming from the west. It feels like you are riding into a hurricane. I noticed on my usual route up Jay Rd into Boulder that I normally average 17-19 mph depending on the day, but recently, because of the headwinds, I’ve been cruising a mind blowing 11 mph up this road. Conversely, when you turn and the headwind becomes a tailwind, I can coast and reach 30 mph. It’s provides for some interesting dynamics.

I did have a fatal flaw on Saturday and it wasn’t eating enough after the ride. Unfortunately, we were lower on food than I though, so when I came home I was forced to go to the grocery store after the ride and didn’t eat a meal for probably two hours. I felt fine after eating, but woke up the next morning to extremely heavy legs. It felt like riding with cinder blocks attached to my feet. I ended up having to cut my three hour ride little short because I wasn’t sure I was going to make it home if I went out any further. I bonked that hard.

The Stats:
Time: 14:15:01
Miles: 248.66
Average Wattage: 163
TSS: 564
Kilojoules: 8161

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