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Old 12-02-06, 11:10 AM   #1
Zero_Enigma
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Becareful when it's windy outside.

I was coming home last night and the winds were kicking up with the gusts here in T.O. When I got home to check the weather report it said the winds were 50ish kph but I suspect the gusts were around 80kph.

So I'm riding along home with my new planet bike superflash (and it's bright) and I noticed I get a bit more respect now. I don't get buzzed as much and the cars more tend to take to the left lane or give me that ~2ft passing space. I've had a couple cars drive then slow down a bit to check the light out. Thankfully the occupants inside looked more family friendly people then hostiles I've encountered before. So as I'm getting to the last 2km home I changed direction and now the winds are crosswinds then headwind I was fighting before. Just as a van was buzzing the winds kicked up and pushed me almost into the van as I swerved back to the curb to regain control (or worst case I wanted to fall curb side then outside lane so I was shifting all my weight to the right).

Well this is the first time I've dealt with high winds like this and a near wind blow over spill. I just thought I'd talk about it. I already slowed down when the winds were kicking up but still I almost got blowed over. I think next time I'm in a situation like that it would be better to take the sidewalk for your own safety (even if it costs you a ticket if your city does not permit you). Anyways, just my experience. Perhaps other can chime in on thier wind experience and how they dealt with it? I've heard that downtown T.O you can be charged for riding on the sidewalk but up in the 'burbs it's rather a once in a blue moon thing.


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Old 12-02-06, 12:01 PM   #2
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I was thrown a good 15ft off the road by a huge gust of wind last year.
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Old 12-02-06, 03:22 PM   #3
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Because of the weather, rain and wind, in the Boston area last night there were at least six pedestrians hit by cars (including a police officer) and one pedestrian who was killed.

As can be seen here and in the other thread about the NY rider who was killed, we clearly do not have a lock on these dangers.
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Old 12-02-06, 04:48 PM   #4
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Wow. I wouldn't ride on the road in 80 km/h winds. Might even avoid walking on certain narrow sidewalks.

There was a rather windy day in Toronto about a month or so back, knocked quite a number of trees down. I was out riding that day and I did ride on the sidewalk when the wind was strongest despite being on fairly bike-friendly streets (I consider them so anyway).

(As for sidewalk-riding tickets... never heard of such a thing. I think Toronto police explicitly said that they will only enforce provincial traffic laws and no the city by-laws. So there have been raids targeting cyclists who run stop signs, for example, but not sidewalk riders. I think one exception to that is when they are trying to make life tough for messengers. There they'll ticket them for anything they possibly could, including sidewalk riding. I think they even stopped messengers who were riding 24" wheeled bikes on the sidewalk (legal in Toronto) and charged them with "reckless operation of a vehicle" or something along those lines. But on a windy day, I'm sure the cops are likely to be understanding, and maybe even glad that you aren't on the road.)
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Old 12-02-06, 05:34 PM   #5
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Wind is something not to be taken lightly. Winters are windy as all heck around here.
Thank goodness that with our new light rail line I have a viable alternative if conditions are making cycling too difficult. I would rather not consider my car as a decent alternative. Just takes too long.
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Old 12-02-06, 06:36 PM   #6
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50-80 km/h? Wow.

We had a couple of windy days (40-50 km/h probably) last month, when I couldn't manage the headwinds as a pedestrian on the footpath in some parts of town. I didn't dare ride in that weather. I know, I'm a wuss.

I can deal with traffic, hills, or rain, but not wind -- especially in combination with the rest.
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Old 12-02-06, 07:10 PM   #7
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wind's probably caused me more nights full of flashbacks and sweats than anything else. i do watch it, and if i know the wind is blowing or gusting really strongly in a cross direction, i'll sometimes ride on the upwind site of the bridge going home, just because i'd rather crash into the traffic side of the mup barrier than the [fainting voice] river side [/fainting voice]. i know i've never heard of anyone going over that barrier unintentionally, but it really isn't that high. not high enough for someone on a bike with my level of vertigo in a strong wind, anyway.

this week while i was walking over it every day, i stopped a few times and heaved some of the bigger snow boulders over the edge. really wish i hadn't done that now - or at least that i hadn't stood there and watched them go down
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Old 12-03-06, 09:41 AM   #8
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After last year I don't ride in winds above 40MPH. I remember that day; I started out with calm winds. Then a cold front blew in. I was riding with pieces of asphalt roofing flying by my head. It was a nasty crosswind I feared for my life when traffic approached me from behind. Then I notice the power-lines overhead swaying from side to side.
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Old 12-03-06, 10:57 AM   #9
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Wind can be your friend. A tail wind helps you along and a head wind improves the training experience. Sidewind gusts are loved by adreniline junkies. A great time can be had if there is a persistant powerful wind in one direction and bike friendly public transit in the other. San Gorgonio Pass to Palm Springs and return comes to mind. Take advantage of the wind. Go north to south on the west coast and west to east when doing the Transcontinental. On the local scale have both exposed routes and tree sheltered routes for your rides. For commuters like me you just have to suck it in and grind out the miles. To improve your bike handling in wind gusts try "dancing with semis" on an Interstate shoulder. I-15 from LA to Vegas is a good training ground.
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Old 12-03-06, 11:07 AM   #10
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Bridge crossings and semi-trucks are another two wind-related things to be careful with. Even when the winds aren't too bad down among buildings and stuff you can get some big gusts over bridge spans. And semis, if you haven't experienced before, bring their own gusty wind with them that can either blow you of the road or kinda suck you towards the truck.
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Old 12-03-06, 11:17 AM   #11
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I'm sitting in my hotel room right now in Hawaii wondering if I should venture out on a ride with gusts up to 35mph. Since it's not raining, I'll probably do it.
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Old 12-03-06, 11:24 AM   #12
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T.0. ?
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Old 12-03-06, 11:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbojeff
Because of the weather, rain and wind, in the Boston area last night there were at least six pedestrians hit by cars (including a police officer) and one pedestrian who was killed.
No surprise, around here peds have it pretty rough year round. Even when handicapped people have the walk light, cagers do whatever. Cops could enforce that...it's easy money (compared to high speed chases).
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Old 12-03-06, 12:34 PM   #14
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I've managed quite a few days of 40mph gusts (25mph sustained) storms, courtesy of our wonderful Nor'easters. Friday coming home, I was going all out sprinting for a light at...10mph into that wonderful wind. I've also been swept down the road at 35+mph thanks to a well timed tailwind gust. I've learned that in order to deal with crosswinds, it helps to be going s l o w. Even going downhill, I'll limit myself to 15mph. At those speeds, I can deal with the sudden gusts assuming I have a whole lane to myself (and I usually do). I would not try to ride in a narrow bike lane next to heavy traffic on a very windy day.
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Old 12-03-06, 01:07 PM   #15
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T.O. is Thousand Oaks. I live fairly near in Chatsworth. When it's windy, as it as been this last week, I ride a tadpole trike. Much more aerodynamic. Don't get blown around. The big problem though is flying debris.
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Old 12-03-06, 05:01 PM   #16
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T.O. = Toronto, Ontario for the OP
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Old 12-04-06, 02:57 AM   #17
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It's been really windy here the last few days. The "For Sale" signs in front of the houses for sale on my street were horizontal rather than vertical today. I'm surprised we haven't had more wildfires this year.
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