Gone with the wind

28 08 2010

With less than two weeks until the Whistler Gran Fondo, I’m sure I’m not the only rider who’s starting to pay closer attention to the long term weather forecast.

Not that they’re of much value along coastal BC, as the combination of mountains and ocean create micro-climates that can turn on a dime.

Friday was a perfect example.

The morning forecast called for a mix of clouds and sun, with a 40 percent chance of showers. And while that’s exactly what we got, predicting where those showers would fall proved a bit of a crapshoot. Around here, the showers were also more like squalls of driving rain.

We were in the midst of just such a squall when my prime time to leave for a ride came and went; if I leave much later than 10:30 a.m., I get stuck riding home in heavy rush hour traffic, which isn’t much fun.

So, no ride for me.

Instead, I headed out to run some errands. Sure enough, as I was ensconced in my car, the sun broke through the clouds; 15 minutes later though,  another squall rolled through.

Still, the guilt at not riding weighed pretty heavily.

Rain on Gran Fondo day would seriously suck. That’s a long way to go when it’s wet and nasty.

Wind would be another grind. I’m not such a fan of riding into the wind; riding with the wind is a blast, but headwinds, not so much.

Riding 120 kms into a headwind would be a grind.

Fortunately, Sept. 11 is usually a nice day. I know this because I often cover a small memorial service the New Westminster Fire Department has to remember the fallen firefighters and other victims in the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, and the weather always seems to be just like that morning when our world went awry, big blue sky, warm golden sun.

I doubt we’ll be able to dodge the wind, though. That’s because Squamish is a world-renowned destination for windsurfers and kiteboarders as the winds funnel down from the mountain through Howe Sound.

It should be interesting to see how 4000 cyclists form an echelon in one lane of highway!