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  1. #1
    Senior Member crash and burn's Avatar
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    My longest ride yet...How much does the wind actually hurt?

    My longest ride was 26 miles (I know its not much to most of you) but I did manage 36.74 yesterday. I really didnt think it would be that hard, but I thought I was gonna die the last 5 miles. The wind was howling non stop. My question is if it hadnt been so windy how far could I have gone? It was just mainly rolling hills with a few pretty steep ones. But even the small hills were tough with the wind in my face non-stop. It seemed like no matter which way we turned the wind was was right in our face. I couldnt hardly hear my buddies trying to talk to me (may have just been my heart beating like crazy) My leggs are so tired I can barely type this today. My leggs must get better.
    Crash and Burn

  2. #2
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    Wind plays a big factor. Ever wonder why riders in races draft the person in front of them? Even just air resistance is a big deal. The bigger a person you are, the bigger difference it makes.

    But, going from a longest ride of 26 miles to over 36 is a good step in my opinion. How far you could have gone sans-wind is hard to say. Depends on the route. But, I'd be willing to bet you could have gotten another 10 miles.

    That should just serve as motivation for the next ride...

  3. #3
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash and burn View Post
    My longest ride was 26 miles (I know its not much to most of you) but I did manage 36.74 yesterday. I really didnt think it would be that hard, but I thought I was gonna die the last 5 miles. The wind was howling non stop. My question is if it hadnt been so windy how far could I have gone? It was just mainly rolling hills with a few pretty steep ones. But even the small hills were tough with the wind in my face non-stop. It seemed like no matter which way we turned the wind was was right in our face. I couldnt hardly hear my buddies trying to talk to me (may have just been my heart beating like crazy) My leggs are so tired I can barely type this today. My leggs must get better.
    Hey buddy,

    Stop the "this isn't much for the rest of you' nonsense. You rode your bike, you pushed yourself further than you thought you could go, and I'm pleased to read about it. Nothing to be apologetic about here. (And someone remind me of my words the next time I start apologizing for MY rides.) Ya done good.

    Any wind except a tailwind will slow you down. I rode 11 miles yesterday - a third of what you rode - and my speed dropped a mile and a half per hour largely due to the wind I had to battle on the way back. Of course, the church luncheon I attended didn't help matters....

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I had the same problem Friday. Riding 15 miles into a head wind and taking decongestants wore me down.
    I told the two other riders that I was going home. We stopped and got refreshed. Then headed home.
    No wind now, I was in front @17 mph. Made a right turn ,with a tail wind, I could hold 20 mph.
    Ended with 30 miles, 55 miles the day before, and 75 miles three days before that.
    Head Winds are Tuff for me. Love the Tail winds.
    I have a 34 lb bike and weight 212 lbs.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  5. #5
    Needing more power Scotty riddei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash and burn View Post
    My longest ride was 26 miles (I know its not much to most of you) but I did manage 36.74 yesterday.... My leggs are so tired I can barely type this today. My leggs must get better.
    Try typing with your fingers instead of your legs (sorry I couldn't resist) .

    Wind is evil and demoralizing! Congratulations for doing the mileage you did!!!
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=60371&dateline=1202849788[/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Air resistance is a major part of the drag forces affecting a bicycle. At the speeds involved, the aerodynamic drag is about proportional to the square of the speed, and thus the power required to overcome it is proportional to the cube of the speed. If you're riding at, say, 15 mph, and suddenly hit a 15 mph headwind, the power required to overcome air resistance and maintain your speed goes up by a factor of 8.

  7. #7
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Wind is a big deal, riding over the Susquehanna on the Harvey Tailor bridge I have nearly been stopped dead in my tracks by a head wind.

    It's hard to say how much further you could have gone, but wind defiantly makes you work harder. Congratulations on the new personal record.

    Bau

  8. #8
    Senior Member sigg.switz's Avatar
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    Nice work. It's been really windy here too and has been a pain in the ***. Unless you are riding directly into the wind for the entire ride (point to point ride) then wind shouldn't really reduce your mileage. That is because you should assume that at some point, you must turn around and have the wind at your back. At that point your power output to go the same speed would significantly decrease, making up for the power used with the wind in your face.
    So even if it was still, I imagine that at most you'd be able to squeeze a couple more miles. Don't let that discourage you though, keep it up and you'll see your mileage sky rocket.
    Don't forget to recover.
    Taste Death, Live Life.

  9. #9
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Any wind except a tailwind will slow you down.
    What is this "tailwind" you speak of? I don't think I've ever encountered any such thing.

  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Crash and Burn, all I can tell you is ya done good! It takes time to build your physical capabilities. Trust me when I say that you are making good progress.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  11. #11
    el sombrador loco MetalClydesdale's Avatar
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    Headwinds do have an effect on overall speed, but for me they've always done more damage to my morale than my legs. There's something incredibly frustrating about fighting to maintain a decent speed on a flat road, and it ratchets up to inhuman levels of frustration when you have to fight to get going downhill.

    Unixpro:
    Remember what they say; there are no tailwinds, it's either a headwind, or you're having a good day.
    What you risk reveals what you value.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    Air resistance is a major part of the drag forces affecting a bicycle. At the speeds involved, the aerodynamic drag is about proportional to the square of the speed, and thus the power required to overcome it is proportional to the cube of the speed. If you're riding at, say, 15 mph, and suddenly hit a 15 mph headwind, the power required to overcome air resistance and maintain your speed goes up by a factor of 8.
    I read that three times and I still don't understand what you're saying. I knew I should have paid more attention in physics class....

  13. #13
    Adventures Gone Awry Misadventures's Avatar
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    Tail wind - wind from behind.

    I did 25km on Friday evening in a satisfying time. Saturday I went out and made enemies with the wind. Took forever and I didn't come close to half of my distance from the night before.

    Wind in the face sucksa. Wind to the side sucks. Wind at my back...isn't that an Irish Blessing? Happy St Paddys day!

  14. #14
    Still can't climb
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    Hey you did great increasing your distance that much in windy conditions.

    I hate to dip my fly in your ointment but the wind will always be against you. I always feel I was riding into headwind and never felt a tailwind on the return. I reccently read something on Sheldon Brown's website that suggests my perception may be actually true.

    Apparently, helped by a tailwind you would ride faster than the wind so feel the air pushing against you and if you ride in the morning the cold air rolls downhill; not fast enough to feel if stationary but you'll feel it when riding. It's all part of the joy (or do I mean pain) of riding I guess.

  15. #15
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    Wind can be quite a challange. We've had loads of wind this Winter. Thankfully the wind tends to remain fairly constant during the day. Due to prevailing wind conditions I usually with my daily commute I have a headwind in the morning and tail wind in the evening. On one particularly windy day (25 MPh constant 40 MPH gusts) I was going as slow at 7 MPH at one point during my 5 miles to work. Physically I was pretty beat by the time I got to work. If memory serves me right I only average about 10 MPG during my ride. On the ride home I felt like superman. I got up to 28.5 MPH and was a actually able to sustain it for a while. It was totally amazing. My average speed was over 18 MPH. You win some you lose some. Hopefully you get to enjoy the rewards of a tail wind AFTER a hard fought battle against the wind. My co-worker rides in from the opposite direction so he has to fight the wind in the evening. Personally I'd rather work hard in the morning and have an easier ride home... but that doesn't always happen.

    How much farther could you have gone? Who knows, even if you were to repeat the ride next weekend and had no wind you have already made your body stronger... so you are going to be better prepared next weekend. I look at wind as an opportunity to work hard. If I don't take the optimistic view I'd just get ticked off, and I want to ensure that I enjoy the ride.

    Happy riding,
    André

  16. #16
    Senior Member crash and burn's Avatar
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    Dont get me wrong. It was a great workout. It did a toll on my leggs. I enjoyed that part but after about 30 miles I was extremely wore out, running on empty and had a head wind all the way back. I didnt think I was gonna make it. My brother in law turned around and encouraged me and I made it, but I was cussing him at the time. LOL He says Im doing good, but I just dont feel like it. I know it will come eventually though. Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I did sleep good last night though......
    Crash and Burn

  17. #17
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash and burn View Post
    My longest ride was 26 miles (I know its not much to most of you) but I did manage 36.74 yesterday. I really didnt think it would be that hard, but I thought I was gonna die the last 5 miles. The wind was howling non stop. My question is if it hadnt been so windy how far could I have gone? It was just mainly rolling hills with a few pretty steep ones. But even the small hills were tough with the wind in my face non-stop. It seemed like no matter which way we turned the wind was was right in our face. I couldnt hardly hear my buddies trying to talk to me (may have just been my heart beating like crazy) My leggs are so tired I can barely type this today. My leggs must get better.
    The good news is that as you ride in it, you'll eventually become stronger than the wind.

    I used a little trick when I first started cycling a few years ago. I would start my ride into the wind, when I was at my freshest. Then I would turn around and ride home with the wind at my back, when I was the most tired.

    Give yourself a day or two of rest, and you'll probably find that that one ride in the wind has already made you stronger.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  18. #18
    Grizzled Curmudgeon keithm0's Avatar
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    Wind... the invisible hill.

    Yesterday I did 40 miles -- two 20 mile "out and back" routes along the river trail. I didn't pay any attention to the wind while I was preparing to leave. On the way out for the first lap, I was sustaining about 17 MPH, about 2 MPH faster than usual for me. I thought to myself "the training must be starting to pay off -- me legs feel great, and I'm *cruising*!".

    At the turn-around point, I realized why I felt so good going so fast. I had trouble maintaining 10 MPH on the way back into the headwind. It doesn't help that I have the aerodynamics of a barn.

    I hate wind.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixpro View Post
    What is this "tailwind" you speak of? I don't think I've ever encountered any such thing.
    It's theoretical, that if you have a headwind, and turn around, you will have a tailwind, I think I have experienced it once, although it went from a 40km/h head wind to a 5km/h tail wind......

  20. #20
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I look forward to riding in the wind. 45 mph is really fun. My wife also rides with me in the wind. We did a 42 miler on Saturday with 25 mph winds no problem. I think it's funny that so many avoid it. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

    Palms doing a little dance in the wind at our reststop on Saturday

  21. #21
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I love posting this pic. It was sometime last year. We were riding in 40 mph winds. My wife and I rode past a small paceline of men. They were more than happy to jump on the back of the Beanz Train! Couple of them were surprised that my wife stayed on as they struggled to keep up. I think facing the wind has made her a much stronger rider.

    All I can say is keep riding in the wind. If you train with it, you will find that you can outride about 80% of the riders that participate in organized fun rides when the wind hits!


  22. #22
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    I grew up in North Dakota where it is completely flat and therefore windy all the time. On the super windy days you stop counting miles and start counting hours on the bike. I generally would ride into the wind first for 2/3 of my ride time and then fly back home with the wind at my back.

    There are a couple of things that help a lot.

    First, make sure you are hydrated. In a flat, dry wind you won't feel sweaty even though you are probably sweating as much or more. You can tell by the salt that's caked on your face and clothes after about an hour or so. Those salts need to be replaced.

    Second, a good pair of wraparound cycling shades is a life saver. They keep the crap out of your eyes.

    Three, a good set of tight cycling clothes that don't flap against your skin.

  23. #23
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    I read that three times and I still don't understand what you're saying. I knew I should have paid more attention in physics class....
    What don't you understand? You know aerodynamic drag goes up with increasing speed, right? I goes up with the square of the speed, in fact. That is, twice the speed produces four times the drag. Power is work divided by time, which translates to force multiplied by speed.

    Work = force * distance
    Power = work / time
    Speed = distance / time
    Power = force * distance / time = force * speed
    Force (aerodynamic) = K * speed²
    Power = K * speed³

    If it takes 0.1 horsepower to overcome aerodynamic drag at some speed, it'll take 0.8 horsepower to overcome that drag at twice the speed.

    Note: This is about the aerodynamic portion of the drag...the rolling resistance of the tires and the losses in the bearings and the chain are a different matter.

    ACK! Edited to fix a typo!
    Last edited by deraltekluge; 03-17-08 at 08:18 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    It's theoretical, that if you have a headwind, and turn around, you will have a tailwind...
    True, but a tailwind never helps as much as a headwind hurts! And, effectively, most winds are headwinds, or so it seems.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ronjon10's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new mileage standard. I found the hardest time was getting to where you are now. After I was able to hit 30-35 miles, the step up to 50-60 miles was pretty easy for me (There was another hump beyond that, but that's another story...)

    Forget about the wind, they're like hills, you have to deal with them, do them more and you'll get better. Just make sure to manage your effort.

    For me, the trick in pushing up the distance was taking it easier on the first 10-15 miles or so. I find even today that when I push hard before I'm warmed up properly, I have a miserable and difficult day. If I can warm up properly, I'm (now) fine for going 100+ miles and usually finish with energy to spare.

    It does take practice to manage your efforts, so keep riding and have fun!
    just being

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