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  • Writer's pictureAlana

13. Barstow to Ludlow, CA

Updated: May 5

April 25, 2024

Today I learned to check not just the temperature and precipitation predictions, but also, and most importantly, the wind report. Otherwise, I could be in for a wild ride.

I had an inkling the air was on a tear when I pulled onto the freeway out of Barstow. A crosswind puffed up and about blew me into traffic. I wound up walking the half mile before the road turned and put the breeze at my back.

From then on, the wind only grew stronger. Little did I realize that the National Weather Service had issued a high wind advisory, foretelling 35 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph. Happily / insanely for me, the wind was coming from the west, so it was all tailwinds, all the time. The two times my route crossed the wind, I had to walk, and that with a lot of struggle.

Eighteen wheelers began to pull off the road. Dust storms formed to the north. A weird dark column appeared like a UFO's contrail.

For the last 10 miles of my ride, I was cruising at 35 mph without pedaling. I considered stopping a couple of times to take pictures, but then decided against it. The wind could easily push me over while straddling my bike.

When I arrived at Ludlow, I had to cross the wind to reach my motel. It took all my strength to walk my bike without falling over.

At the motel, several campers and motorcyclists had pulled in, seeking shelter from the storm. One kind man, Mike, and his daughter, Olivia, shared a few of the gems they had hunted before the weather turned and flatted their tire.

The upside of foul weather is that it can make fast friends. Nevertheless, I am hoping for calmer winds tomorrow.

Distance: 52.5

Climbing: 1.34

Totals: 695.6 miles, 26.3 K feet

Song: "Blowin' in the Wind" by Bob Dylan


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