Southern Alberta is famous - or notorious - for its wind. It’s often a ‘chinook’, the name for the region’s föhn wind that, in winter, sweeps down the leeward side of the Rocky Mountains, raising the temperatures, melting the snow and drying the moisture. The wind can be very strong, sometimes blowing as fiercely as 100 kph (62 mph), though more often 50 to 60 kph (31 to 37 mph). This winter - in fact, even the late autumn - has been the windiest most people here can remember. In terms of the number of windy days, the number of consecutive windy days, and the strength of the wind, this season has been exceptional.
There are several spots on my bicycle route to and from my workplace that are prone to particularly strong blasts of wind. One is the bridge that crosses over railway tracks. I sometimes must lean against the wind which blows perpendicularly against me and threatens to knock me against the railings, or over the parapet all together.
Yesterday, I was riding along the bridge when a gust struck me. My front rain-fender was not, as they were when I was a child, a metal semi-circle bolted to the hub of the wheel, but a plastic shield snapped on to the under-side of the frame where it faces the front tire. I write that it was, because the wind caught it, pulled it off its snaps and threw it down the street. I halted and turned, not long enough even to get off my bicycle, never mind to retrieve the fender. I was, however, in time to see the wind scoop it up from the asphalt and throw it off the bridge. The last I saw of it, it was sixty feet away and thirty feet in the air, flying off eastward over the trains stopped under the bridge. I watched it until it was a spot in the early morning sun, and wished it a fair voyage.
Though we are accustomed to harsh wind here, it seems, like weather everywhere, different this year, more extreme. I’ve never seen it abduct a bicycle part before, and think it may be only a matter of time until it takes the whole machine, and the rider with it...
catfather....whoa...we hope thatz knot a selfee oh dad in that foto !!! ☺☺ N tell him ta leeve hiz fave o rite hat at home when therz a wind like that...it mite end up in montana !! may be hime shuld take a diffrunt route ta werk ??!! ☺☺♥♥ReplyDelete
"I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind."ReplyDelete
Wow, Dowson doesn't get many quotes these days.Delete
A first for cat blogs, I'll bet.Delete
That sure makes riding a bit scary!ReplyDelete
All you need is to rig up an open umbrella and with the right wind direction, you'll get to your destination in record time. :-D
That has been considered... Unfortunately, the wind here always seems to blow in one's face...Delete
Quite defeats the purpose of the umbrella then.Delete
John: "I can see my house from here!"ReplyDelete
Around here, when we say chinook, it's for the helicopters that fly overhead to the Air National Guard Base a few miles from home.
Goodness! Glad it was only the fender and not the entire bicycle!ReplyDelete
I'll second what Da Tabbies said - please leave the bike home if there are strong winds. We don't want you performing a stunt like in the above picture!ReplyDelete
Your photo made me laugh. It reminded me of ET!ReplyDelete
HeHe! It reminded me of ET! as well..! :).ReplyDelete
We've had a lot of wind..rain..floods over
here as well..Especially the 'wind' but
l've cut down on the amount of curry, l've
been eating..! :o).
You shouldn't cut down, Willie; wind-power is the in-thing these days.Delete
Is there a bus route to work one can take sometimes though? That is a considerable wind. I am impressed.ReplyDelete
The bus is too expensive for the short trip. I've missed only one day's riding in three years, and that was due to deep snow. I'll be like the man in the parable and clutch my coat tighter about me when the wind howls.Delete
Made me smile.Delete
Glad you survived that ride! Now if we don't hear from you, we'llReplyDelete
wonder if you blew away and then who will feed the cats and clean
the litter boxes! I bicycle on paved trails, but for pleasure, so
windy days are spent doing something else. Hope your office provides
Goodness, I'm glad it was only a piece of the bike and not the bike and rider! This winter has definitely been an odd one here too - mostly due to little snow and warmer than normal temps through February. It looks more like end of March here though not quite as warm. Thankfully we've not had the winds you've had!ReplyDelete
There are parts of the US that have really strong winds and back in the days of my motorcycling I have experienced quite the same. Never bits being torn off but being knocked into oncoming traffic and such. Mostly this was in the prairie states with wide open space that generate winds when the ground warms with the sun. Here where I am in PA the Mountains have roads where the blow comes through the valley, down from high or around the curve with some exciting times. I never pedaled to work as where and what I did but do hope that you find a fender that fits. Both your need and weather.ReplyDelete