There's a strange moment one may experience—or I presume the collective 'one,' since I've never actually asked anyone about it—when riding a motorcycle on a windy day. I ride a tall bike (F800GS) and I'm pretty tall myself, so I catch a lot of breeze when riding on even the calmest day.
Today certainly wasn't calm. Though I woke to a hot, clear early morning, I was riding directly into the path of a ponderous, early season front, a storm that stretched from Chicago to northern Arkansas and threatened to spin a few tornadoes out along its eastern wall. It was windy enough to whip the straps on my Kriega luggage around while standing still. By the time I got to the Mississippi, I was eating a steady diet of crosswind as I rode from Kentucky toward the storm. Up on the raised highway ridges in the river bottom flood plain on the Missouri side, I was riding in lateral winds so strong that I had to keep the bike canted probably 15 degrees just to keep going straight. Gusts were probably 30 or 40 miles an hour, if not more. (At the edge of the storm, gusts were up around 65 or 70, according to Weather Underground.)
It was fun, though. Wind sucks when you're riding in the rain, but on dry pavement with the sun shining, I don't know...it was like I could feel every part of the landscape telegraphed to me through the variance in the wind. It could have made me feel like the country was trying to throw me off the bike—and it was, I guess—but it also was like the terrain itself was able to send a literal push instead of just hanging out there over on either side of the road looking pretty. When the wind is really blowing, you can feel it when you come out of a stand of trees or up over the bridge. A quick smack. The bike jumps over a foot or two, but you naturally react by leaning into it, so your tires are a little more to the right than where you thought you'd last left them, but your body is still hanging more or less over the empty space where the bike used to be. It sounds scary, but once you know it's coming, it's kind of fun. You really feel yourself and the bike pushing through the atmosphere. Partially, I presume, because the gusts were additive. It was already really windy to begin with, so I was prepared for the push. (Unlike one time I rode across the farmland of central Nova Scotia, where the sea winds would come sweeping down the plains without a hint of preamble. I started riding with one knee cocked to the side, which either shifted my center of gravity or acted like a sail; either way it seemed to help.)
But one really weird thing that I've experienced a few times happened again today. I was just putting the front tire over the line where the concrete of an overpass rejoined the asphalt of the road, and everything just stopped. No wind. No push against my chest or helmet. And most strikingly, no noise. Even on a still day the rush of wind is a constant companion at speed. Companies like Schuberth, whose C3 Pro I am testing, don't spend hours and hours putting motorcycle helmets into wind tunnels just so they don't wrench your head as much; a more aerodynamic helmet is quieter. At 60 MPH—I was probably doing about that when I had my little moment—you are riding in a din of fluid dynamics. Especially if you don't wear ear plugs, which I wasn't today, because I'm trying to see how this Schuberth sounds without them.
Anyway, just nothing. Lasted maybe half a second. Just blasting, physical pushing from the front and sides, always changing slightly, lots of noise...then stillness. Quiet. It felt like the bike even lunged forward for a second, too, carrying me with it through a little warp bubble until we hit the other side and were back in the mess.
I suspect it's simply an artifact of chance. Even on the windiest day, there have to be little eddies of stillness in the air, places where the competing breezes cancel each other out, even if just for a second. And when you ride through one on a bike you feel it, because you're out there in the wind which is constantly trying to tell you something—I just went through some trees! I came over a hill! I met a dead possum and I want to tell you about it and also maybe try to kill you!—and when it stops talking it's like for just a second the air forgot to breathe. It's very nifty.
Tell me I'm not the only one who has experienced this.