One of the reasons for my before-sunrise-departure Sunday rides is to try to take advantage of the wind. Generally, the prevailing wind is from the southeast or southwest. Generally, the wind picks up as the sun rises. My 360 route goes south, southwest, west, then northeast, with the last few miles again heading south. Ergo, for the first 50 minutes I'm into the wind and my goal is to make the turn before the sun gets too high.
Alas, this morning proved non-typical. As I drove to the start, I could see some big flags billowing straight out. Again today my start time was 6am. This route gives me about eight minutes of warm-up before the first climb. I rounded one corner and prepared to shift into the big ring and fold over the aerobars, as this is a nice flat section with a bike lane. Immediately Plan B came into play as the wind came head-on. Plan B is to scramble for a gear that I can hold at 80 rpm. Once I found the gear, I looked down to see which one and gave a startled grunt when I saw how far up the cassette I had come! Thus the term "5 gear wind" came to my mind.
I count going from middle to big ring as two gears, so today I pedaled this stretch 5 gears lower than average.
The half-way point came and I had lost seven minutes. Even with the wind behind me, I never made up the time. Great workout, enjoyed getting out, but still haven't taken advantage of the new gears.