I adjusted the first mile through a residential area so I could reduce the wind and generate some internal heat. By the time I reached the open fields again, I was warm enough to head west into the belly of the beast! The windswept snow hitting my face was bitter, and the force of the wind was severe, but I told myself to go just one mile to another row of houses where the wind should be less. My gear was doing its job as the covered parts of my body were warm enough.
The house-row runs north on the west side of the road about 1/2 of a mile, so I headed north with their protection. When I reached the end of the row and crossed the tracks, I faced the full frontal ferocity of that northwesterly wind. Quickly, I considered my options, alternatives, and other wind-breaks up ahead if I continued north. I had 1.5 miles to the next viable route and about a third of that had some windbreaks, onward to the north I went, and turning east was a notable and welcomed relief.
Besides the traffic and increasingly slick surface, the wind and snow were less of an issue heading east, and two miles later I was heading south and expecting it to get even more relaxed. I was wrong!
The wind was now behind, and on my right, it was more than just a little pushy. This was now like running down a hill for two full miles on a non-ideal surface. I thought to push my way into the wind was harsh and now this trying to stay upright was a new challenge for a different set of muscles. Yes, from the glutes down are feeling it.
The wind was gusting so strong that I had to consciously manage my right leg to keep it from banging into my left on the downstroke. It was a challenge, but sort of a fun one.