Monday, March 10, 2014

Do you ride clockwise or counter-clockwise?

On Friday my friend Emily posted a picture on Facebook of a local snow-covered road as a caution to area cyclists and said, "If you're planning your ride for tomorrow, and I know you are....

I laughed to myself thinking, yes, I too had been contemplating where I might want to go the following day. I guess that is a common Friday pastime for cyclists....what routes are in the range of distance/time I want, what am I in the mood for, what am I not in the mood for, when will I go, what is the hourly forecast, what layers will I want...?

As I thought through my options, it dawned on me that I ride nearly ALL of my usual loop routes in a counter clockwise way. (Or "anti clockwise" as the British would say.) We run on the track counter-clockwise, we circle swim counter-clockwise. Back in my horse days I definitely preferred riding to the left (counter-clockwise). It turns out a lot of things naturally go counter-clockwise (see Straight Dope article) especially in the northern hemisphere.

So Saturday, maybe in preparation for moving clocks clockwise an hour, I rode my favorite 32 mile "Sandy Ridge" loop clockwise for a change. 

The ride felt very different going the other direction. It was like a whole new ride! I cruised down parts that from the reverse seemed like annoying false flats but I discovered they'd been more uphill than I thought. I noticed houses and signs I hadn't seen before and the landscape looked distinctive enough that for a few minutes I wondered if I'd missed my turnoff (my keen sense of direction at work.) 

That was pretty fun. It's time to break out of my habits and start tackling some of my other routes clockwise.

Do you have the same tendency?