The Wild Winds of Western WY

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(I am finally beginning to update the Tour Map,  it should be current in an hour or so)

The past few days I have been cycling across western Wyoming. There is one word that aptly describes my experience and that is, “Windy!” And sadly, each day the wind decided to be my enemy, resisting me at every turn. Tuesday was the worst. Eighty miles on a desolate road that had nothing but sagebrush and wind. I fought tooth and nail against that wind, every mile was a struggle.

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A pronghorn antelope with four little ones.

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Hail is cool.

Ordinarily, if I am having a tough time on a ride I stop and make friends with some animals, maybe a herd of cows or a couple of donkeys. It always gets me smiling again. But on this road there wasn’t even livestock to distract me from the raging force of the wind and my painfully slow progress.

Climbing mountains is also slow but I can see the progress I am making and reaching the top is so rewarding. Not only is there a beautiful view but there is also a thrilling descent to enjoy. Headwinds have no reward. It is just work. Fighting the invisible force of the wind is mentally and physically strenuous.

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The sign also says, “Stay in vehicle”. A cyclist I was riding alongside wondered aloud how exactly we were supposed to do that!

One thought kept me moving.

“If I can make it through this wind today, I can make it through any wind, any day.”

After pedaling all day at 6 to 8 mph I finally made it to Lander. When I pulled into the city park, I met up with two cyclists, Jen and Carl and we have been riding together ever since. Since that eighty mile day, I haven’t had to face the wind alone. And that is wonderful!

Has riding into the wind been worth it?

I am currently in Grand Teton National Park, and yes, every mile into the wind has been worth it!

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29 thoughts on “The Wild Winds of Western WY

  1. So happy to see this post from you today. I have been wondering about you. Wind was not one of the issues I even thought about. You are having an amazing experience. The effort required makes the accomplishment that much sweeter. Bike on my friend!

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    • Thank you, Mrs. Der! I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! I can’t wait to come back and tell you all about it and show you all the pictures…although at the same time I never want this trip to end 🙂

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  2. So glad you connected with the couple so you have some company. You are quite the trooper, but then you have shown that side in your preparation for this trip.
    Praying for you. Stay well.

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  3. Well, on June 11 I began my tour from Providence, RI to Oregon. First day out and nine consecutive days in a row I faced 20 to 30mph headwinds that were relentless. I did the Erie Canal. I can battle 2 or 3 days of headwinds, but 10 in a row just blew me off course. Like you said, 6 to 8mph was the best I could muster up pouring every ounce of effort into it. However, I’m not 25 anymore… I got to Buffalo and realized I didn’t have a strong reason to get to Oregon and riding solo.. so, I turned around and enjoyed my first 95 mile day with the wind at my back. Life and biking got easier. 18 days to Buffalo and back. Next time I’ll fly to Oregon and bike east…although some say the direction doesn’t matter???

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    • I have been thinking about you, Eric and wondering how you have been! Wow, those headwinds sound insane!!! I would probably just dissolve into a puddle of tears. The winds are supposed to be better going west to east, you should have seen all the smiling cyclists who flew by us going in the opposite direction.

      I am glad you had better luck going home, that sounds like more fun! Did you jump in the Erie Canal 😉

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      • I’ve been studying Portland, OR. The weather, people, industry, geography and getting to really know this goal I’ve set. Strengthening my ‘Why’ and making it real. East to West or West to East; Next time I won’t be turned back. My panniers are still packed and I’ll be back to it soon. Thanks for your inspiration. With a stronger ‘why’ and inspiration we can’t miss.

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      • Haha, well today there are 30-40mph sustained winds with 60+ mph gusts and I’m hiding inside! It comes to a point where it gets a bit dangerous to try to road bike in winds like this! Hoping it calms down this evening so I can get out for a short spin

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      • Yup, that’s kinda insane! Now I know how you got your super strong legs 🙂 Today on my ride I was saying “choco latte” while I was cruising in a tailwind, that’s your fault, haha!

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  4. Just wanted to see how you are doing today. I admire your stead fast determined attitude. Keep up the great work. I am so proud of you.

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