No matter how skilled you are on a downhill, there’s always the danger that things can go horribly bad.
Personally, my sense of fear fluctuates depending on how much my confidence builds versus how close I come to crashing.
At the moment, I’m a bit on the shaky side from of all things getting a KOM.
There is a short segment that’s coveted by some of my friends that I’ve come within a second a couple of times without really trying.
I finally decided to gun it on a pleasant January morning beating the time by two seconds which is pretty significant considering its length.
Mind you, I had difficulty holding on and negotiating the turn at the bottom was perilous leading me to promise not to do something as stupid ever again.
Now, I touch my brakes a bit more and stand a little more upright not wanting to lose anymore of my nine lives.
Winds can just attack!
Going downhill is unavoidable for someone who loves climbing as much as me, but as I negotiate tight curves there’s two things I always worry about.
The first is sliding out into oncoming traffic.
That’s a very real thing if I take a turn too tight or if the ground is a little wet, but for some reason I worry about a tire blowing out and slamming me down although that’s super unlikely to happen.
The other thing to fear is heavy gusts which can definitely happen in the southland riding through the many hills and canyons.
I’m very familiar taking Mulholland west in the mornings, so what happened to me last Tuesday definitely was a shock.
It seemed like a normal descent, but as I neared the bottom by the Hollywood Freeway it went from calm to exponentially gusty:
CiclaValley sharing all.
As you can see at the start of the video, rolling at 30+ mph is pretty easy even while negotiating all the curves.
Everything felt fine until the 17 second mark when I could start to feel the wind and I felt its heavy influence two seconds later as the road bended right.
It was enough to blow me into the shoulder, but at that point I was feeling it from a crosswind perspective.
As the road veered back, I didn’t think my hardship would multiply as the force felt like I was getting smacked in the face!
I’ve been caught in heavy wind before and am familiar with dirt piercing your eyeballs even though I was wearing wrap around sunglasses.
What was freaky was coming to a near stop….on a downhill!
At this point, I was worried about two things.
The first was getting blown off the road or onto oncoming traffic.
Either way, it’s not good.
I was more concerned that since I was barely moving that some car would come around the corner and absolutely belt me.
Thank god we don’t have driverless Ubers here.
Making it to the bridge was my only goal and for some reason, the winds let up as I approached it even though it should have been producing a bigger vortex?
As you can ascertain from this post, I lived to tell but here is my question:
Which is worse? Winds or blowouts?