Commuting - Uphill Headwind
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05-01-01, 08:34 AM
Why is it that on my way home from work, the first mile is uphill and always into a headwind? Did I choose the wrong place to work?
I could never understand about the headwinds, either--or why my commute couldn't be downhill both coming and going!
05-01-01, 11:24 AM
Well, the headwind part is just the bicyclists corollary to Murphys Law; You almost always have a headwind, and when you change or reverse directions, the wind will change so you [i]still]/i] have a headwind.
05-01-01, 11:37 AM
I remember one time I actually had a gusty 15 - 20 mph. tailwind on the way home from work. It was REALLY weird cruising along at 20+ mph. feeling like the air was absolutely STILL. Spooky, man. :eek:
Yup, some headwinds can almost STOP me!
05-01-01, 11:46 AM
Once on a cycle tour of the SW of England, I was faced with a long ride over bleak and hilly Exmoor into the face of a NW gale, 50 miles to the next youth hostel.
After about an hour of battling, I finally came to my senses, this was a holiday, not a Marine training excercise. (Royal Marines use this area to weed out recruits)
I took a long winding county lane down off the moor, then rode 17 miles in top gear, with the wind in my back to a station. Took the train to a more sheltered part of the area.
Just do not stop peddaling. Get in a comfortable gear tuck in and do not stop churning. I know what you mean going uphill in a head wind is like riding in a driving rain storm.
05-01-01, 01:35 PM
Winds are something we have to contend with here quite often, too. I think I've finally learned that you just have to get comfortable and live with the fact that it's going to take you a little longer to get where you're going.
As Hunter says gear down, spin and it makes it a lot easier. We're biking because we enjoy it anyway, right?, so we'll have longer to enjoy it.
There's been many times that I've succumbed to the temptation to enjoy that sensation that Pete mentioned on an out and back, when I've had a tailwind at the start, and a long ride coming home.
05-02-01, 12:44 PM
i can relate - i live on the top of a hill, so i am often to be found spinning my brains out to the top, getting jello legs. sometimes i'd like to go *over* the top and open it up a little, if only to work out a little of that lactic acid. but of course that would be foolishness. as i'd need to turn around and come up the other side eventually too. :rats:
gotta love seattle. but it sure ain't kansas. :)
05-02-01, 01:09 PM
I made my best time this weekend on a 50 mi round trip. I noticed that I was averaging about 18 mi/hr (a personnal best). However, the air felt neutral around me and I really took no notice. When I reached my goal, I made a graceful U-turn to be greated by a nice headwind. What a greenhorn mistake! My boating skills failed me, always row up river first and cruise back during the last half of the day. Anyway, my average speed on the return leg was substantially slower (10 mi/hr). When I got home I was ready for some of Sam Adams finest :beer:.
05-02-01, 01:26 PM
Ya know, I read an account of recumbent cyclist using a full fairing (aerodynamic "body") in which the cyclist reported that he could "sail" in the wind without pedaling under certain conditions! Some of these bikes
cruise at an amazing 40 mph. The world's record (no wind, flat track) almost 70 mph.!!!
Aerodynamics is the key.
05-02-01, 01:43 PM
I seem to remember the ultimate recumbant: The gossamer condor (carbon fiber/plastic airplane with a recumbant "pilot", in the early '80's. Did those guys successfully cross the English channel? Must have requried some serious endurance. I must admit that my profile is quite efficient at blocking the wind guess I need one of those big tapered helments to improve my time. I would need to go fast to keep from getting beat up.
05-04-01, 07:16 PM
I love headwinds and hills. I mean it! I once heard someone say that "wind and hills build character." They were right. A long battle with a head wind give you a really good story to tell everyone later on. Even if they do think you're nuts.
05-04-01, 08:39 PM
Yeh, man, you're right, Chris!
Hills and head winds make you stronger!! I did a 45 mile ride about three weeks ago. First half into a 30-35 mph head wind. yeah!! felt like a one legged man in a a$$ kicking contest avg'd 9mph, but the ride back!!! At thirty mph my shirt tail was hanging straight down.
The difference that day made? On my next ride my avg speed increased 1 mph. From just one hard ride!! I always, well almost always!! purposely ride into the wind for training. it does a body good!!
05-05-01, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by Stan
...On my next ride my avg speed increased 1 mph.
If Mike's brain can overheat a little while thinking about the price of bottled water compared to gasoline, then here's something to think about:
If I go 1 mph. faster (average) on my 65 minute commute, I will save almost 5 minutes.
A motorist can save time only on a wide open freeway. If that motorist spent 15 minutes out of a 45 minute commute on an open freeway, they would have to increase speed from 60 mph. to 75 mph. to save 5 minutes.
But this thread is about headwinds.
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