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Old 09-30-07, 04:21 PM   #1
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Triathlon in my future???
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Wind and a Clyde body.

This was the worst riding day I have had yet this year. I would rather have 110 degree heat and no wind than the 40 mph gusts I had today. I was in 1st gear on a flat to 1 degree downhill going into the wind. The best I could do for speed was 11.8 mph. I didn't even get my cadence up to 80 to get to that speed. I can easily hit 20 on that same flat stretch of rode on a normal day.

Then I got hit by a cross wind and got pushed three feet to the left, but I was at the right side of the road and there was no traffic at the time.

I guess Iowa and wind is normal, so I really didn't think that much of it. What a crappy ride for just a little over 11 miles. Then I got to one of my favorite areas to ride and the road is closed. Well, of course I thought I would be able to get around it, but not a chance. Bridge work.
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Old 09-30-07, 05:06 PM   #2
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I hear ya.

Wind just kills all the fun of the ride...
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Old 09-30-07, 05:36 PM   #3
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Yeah. I hate wind. It is like riding up a constant hill. And then, when you get to a hill, it is an even bigger nightmare.
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Old 09-30-07, 06:19 PM   #4
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If the wind is blowing more than 15mph I usually stay home, it's just no fun to fight it.
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Old 09-30-07, 06:21 PM   #5
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If you're in a flat area, it's the closest you will get to riding uphill.

I'm an oldster (46) and have accumulated several sports by now... cycling (main) mountainbiking, surfing, windsurfing, running, golf. I'm never going to be pro in anything, so I can just relax and enjoy. From that pov, i wonder, hey, where are you living that you are getting such great wind. Windsurfers die for such conditions. If it's a regular ocurrence -- for example inland places like Lake McConnaughy, Nebraska, and the Columbia River gorge are windsurfing hotspots. -- then it may be worth thinking about getting some gear that will help you turn lemons into lemonade. It's like flying and sailing at the same time. It can beat the crud out of you, but a great sport if you are in condition to handle it.
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Old 09-30-07, 06:28 PM   #6
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OK - I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed it today (20-25 mph winds, with gusts to 30). But I was also riding a relatively flat route. A cross-wind did catch me at one point, but not too badly, and there was NO traffic. Also got some good tailwinds. Here's the ride description: http://www.myworksinprogress.com/?p=106

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It was nothing spectacular. Warm autumn day, I go out with no particular goal in mind. It’s 80 degrees and sunny… and 20 mph winds with gusts to 30! I didn’t worry about speed (though I noticed it from time to time). I didn’t watch my odometer. I just rode. Avoided the new development with all the gravel patches and headed straight for the MUP. Cruising along at 12-14 mph, didn’t hit the little garter snake that was enjoying the sunshine. Coddled myself a bit and shifted into my low gear to climb the little hill up into the next neighborhood and crested effortlessly, breathing just a little hard. Voice in my head (sounds kinda like Susan!), “Drink, Becky!” and I forego my typical burst of speed down this road to have some water. Wave at the guy I’ve seen cycling recently, who’s watering his lawn, and turn into the next neighborhood. Down.. then up… surprised that I’m already at the top. Shifting perfectly. Down.. up… and here’s my favorite place. Poised at the intersection of a road that gets busy on weekdays, but is isolated today. I look right toward a road that scares me, then left - to a quarter mile of gentle downhill, followed by a long flat stretch, and not a car in sight. Big drink, powerful push off… shift up, up, up into my highest gear… 20 mph.. 25… onto the flat, over the bridge, and notice I’m still doing 25! Passed by a car - it seems like they’re going slow. Wonder if they’re marveling at how fast this fat girl can fly on her bike! At this point I’m normally struggling to stay above 15, but with the wind at my back, I keep my speed at 20 all the way to the next neighborhood. It feels glorious! Turn right at the school, and head toward the golf course. Long flats, another drink… before I know it I have to make a decision again. All around are new roads with no houses, no people, no construction (yet). I choose left, to the loop that feels like a hill even though it looks flat. “Up” going slow, slow, slow… then “down” with effortless speed. Back toward home, knees starting to feel some pressure, left foot beginning to tingle, but everything feels easy. Over-polite car tries to yield to me at an intersection. Left, right.. suddenly I’m home. Some planters have blown over. Leaves are scattered. I feel just tired enough to feel good. Check clock and odometer: About 6 miles. About 30 minutes. A short ride a couple of months ago, but my longest one since Mille Lacs.

I think I love the wind. Looking forward to my next ride, and more glorious autumn days!
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Old 09-30-07, 06:30 PM   #7
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I am in Red Oak, IA and it was a day that I told myself would be a good work out. I thought it was a really good work out, but like someone else said going uphill into the wind was really nasty. I thought about getting off of the bike and walking, but decided against it.

I had already done my 1.5 hour workout this morning (elliptical and uphill walking on a treadmill). I just wanted to ride the bike a little today.

Time to relax in front of the TV and sleep.
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Old 09-30-07, 07:31 PM   #8
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I would think that wind has comparitively less effect on a larger person than on a smaller one- the difference being that perhaps the smaller person has more reserve energy available.
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Old 09-30-07, 07:52 PM   #9
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I would think that wind has comparitively less effect on a larger person than on a smaller one- the difference being that perhaps the smaller person has more reserve energy available.
Could be an interesting physics problem. The larger person has more gravity advantage keeping them on-line, but also prob has more "sail area" or "freeboard" for the wind to grab onto. I do think the larger person has a better shot at not being blown away.

But my personal theory is that it depends on where you were brought up. Coming from NW Illinois - where if you didn't "do" in the wind, you don't do - I find that in steady winds I just naturally lean sideways into it, whereas the natives - incl my wife - from around here (few though they may be) have a much harder time psychologically handling the wind.

By my theory, true "Great Plainsers" should be among the most adept in USA @ dealing with wind. And SW Iowa is pretty close on that score.
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Old 09-30-07, 07:53 PM   #10
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I hate to admit it, but I wimped out on doing a 40 miler today because of the wind. I've been mad at myself every since. I will try to commute everyday this week to makeup for it.
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Old 09-30-07, 08:45 PM   #11
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I would think that wind has comparitively less effect on a larger person than on a smaller one- the difference being that perhaps the smaller person has more reserve energy available.
To some degree. Generally larger riders are affected less by the wind but generally because of the greater ability to generate force than the smaller rider. Force of wind on a rider is equal to the cross section of the rider times the square of the velocity divided by two (there are some other coefficients involved but they will change little from rider to rider). So mass plays relatively little role.
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Old 09-30-07, 09:19 PM   #12
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I'm sure its similar to North Dakota. Basically I check the weather and then plan things so that I'm riding into the wind for 10 or 20 miles to begin with. Pounding into the wind really does suck but the ride back is so much fun! It's totally worth it when you're riding with a 25-30 mph wind and everything's silent.
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Old 09-30-07, 10:34 PM   #13
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Wait til you are on a tour bike with panniers on front and rear and you catch a crosswind that's real hard! It's positively scary!
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Old 10-01-07, 05:35 AM   #14
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I guess my numbers were low. We were in 48 mph winds when I was out riding. I am glad a chose a route with limited traffic with the wind.

I understand that we might be able to create more torque to handle the winds, but unless I was in a really low tuck, I was not cutting through the wind, I was more like a sail on a pirate ship, if you know what I mean.

Tom, I would have really hated riding in this wind with panniers on the bike. It would have, or could have been a disaster. Way too much wind resistance for the cross winds. If you were headed directly into it or away from it, the wind may not have been too bad. The one cross wind that blew me over in the lane was just not good from a safety standpoint. But, then again, there wasn't any traffic to deal with.
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Old 10-01-07, 06:02 AM   #15
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There have been some winds so strong I had to pedal downhill. I cant' stand the wind. It saps me mentally and physically - when my HR shoots up and I can't get over 10 mph it's not a fun ride. The only thing I don't like about the fall
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Old 10-01-07, 06:45 AM   #16
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I would think that wind has comparitively less effect on a larger person than on a smaller one- the difference being that perhaps the smaller person has more reserve energy available.
Doing the math, on a flat course with a 15mph headwind a rider maintaining 15mph riding on the tops needs:

144lb rider = 347 watts
200lb rider = 400 watts

Now that same 200lb rider going into the drops would decrease the power needed to 283 watts and the smaller rider 247 watts. So a heavier rider will always need more power to push the same speed but getting more aero on the bike makes a huge difference.

Play around at http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm
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Old 10-01-07, 07:28 AM   #17
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Man this rings so true...I was finishing my second 40mi ride on saturday and my last 2 miles was straight into a steady breeze. I have been cruising the whole ride even into the wind which was much lighter in the morning...I had to push to hit 11mph the last leg.
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Old 10-01-07, 08:26 AM   #18
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I get the wind when I ride along the beach.

Brutal, brutal, completely takes the fun out of a ride. On the worst days, I'll go south, against the wind, then by the time I turn around to go north, the wind changes direction! Thats when I head inland
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Old 10-01-07, 11:40 AM   #19
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i hate to state the obvious here, but there is such a thing as wind direction , sometimes i don't mind the wind, infact it can be brilliant at times, a 30 mph gust at your back is fantastic!
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Old 10-01-07, 11:45 AM   #20
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Tell me about it! I'm 24 inches across the shoulders - I push a lot of wind. My triathlete neighbor keeps wanting to ride with me.....says something about drafting a bus.
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Old 10-01-07, 11:55 AM   #21
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Tell me about it! I'm 24 inches across the shoulders - I push a lot of wind. My triathlete neighbor keeps wanting to ride with me.....says something about drafting a bus.
Funny how wind seems to affect your skinny friends. I have the same issue. Huffing into the blow, you look behind you, and there they are - coasting. Bums.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:00 PM   #22
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All things considered, I would prefer a tail wind. But a headwind does not bother me all that bad, after all, I am not in a hurry and won't be setting any records on any of my bike rides and if I ride a little slower into the wind, so what. Wind surely does not suck all the fun out of my riding, yesterday was windy and a great fall day to be out and about.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:09 PM   #23
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Funny how wind seems to affect your skinny friends. I have the same issue. Huffing into the blow, you look behind you, and there they are - coasting. Bums.
That's because they are in your wind shadow. It happens to me too
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Old 10-01-07, 03:29 PM   #24
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All things considered, I would prefer a tail wind. But a headwind does not bother me all that bad, after all, I am not in a hurry and won't be setting any records on any of my bike rides and if I ride a little slower into the wind, so what. Wind surely does not suck all the fun out of my riding, yesterday was windy and a great fall day to be out and about.
Usually, wind isn't constantly blowing at the same speed. You get gusts, they die down, it picks up. I got to constantly change my cadence and gearing. If it blew at a constant speed, I wouldn't mind it so much, it'd be like a hill and I'd just gear down.

But most importantly, people passing me in their cars who don't feel the wind or realize how much more effort it takes will wonder, "Why's that big man huffing and puffing so much and riding so slow? Oh, he must be out of shape!"
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Old 10-01-07, 03:54 PM   #25
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I'm about to head out into a 20 mph wind for a quick 20 miles.
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