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Old 12-03-06, 08:19 PM   #1
Mars
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Extreme commuter club: week 4

One thing we can all be sure of in transition months like this in the XCC: wind, and lots of it! What are your tips and tricks in dealing with extreme amounts of wind? Tell us how you ride int he high wind, how you keep warm, and how you improve your aero profile in these conditions.

Last edited by Mars; 12-03-06 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 12-03-06, 08:36 PM   #2
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For wind, I like to get into the drops and try to get down low. I've ridden into 25-30 mph steady headwinds and they can add 30% to the ride. I've also ridden into gusty winds and there is nothing like getting knocked down to 5-7 mph by a huge gust to make you work for it.

Coming into winter, my studded tires are on the hybrid, and so when it's icy/snowy a slow ride is a given. There is flat out no place to get down out of the wind with flat bars, but the control and visibility of the hybrid are worth it when riding in slick conditions.

Speaking of extreme commuting, last Friday was my toughest so far. We didn't get the snow here in Detroit like those west of us. Instead it rained like heck with high winds and 33 F (1C) temperatures. I rode against a 20 mph headwind in driving rain. I rode through flooded roads with water up over my bottom bracket. My hands were so frozen I could hardly let go of the bars.
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Old 12-03-06, 08:52 PM   #3
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Like DoB I try to hunch down when possible, but without drops it is minimal. I shift more with high winds trying to find gearing that maintains a reasonable workload. When riding on snow and ice in high winds I take it slower and try to spin more so that I am in a better position to react to slides and such. Otherwise I have no real tips other than keep pedalling. I have contemplated roping a deer on a few nights, but I haven't figured out any way to keep the deer running down the MUP!

Well my collison with the tree caused no damage to the bike and I'm sure my bruises and scrapes will heal. What do people carry to treat road rash? Another question -- how many miles have people gotten out of their derailleurs? After about 8400 miles my derailleur pulleys are badly worn and shifting is beginning to suffer. The teeth on the lower pulley are obviously worn and both pulleys have a lot of play around the bearings. I've got another on order so I can add derailleur replacement to my list of bike repair skills.

Getting ready for a colder week of riding next week.
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Old 12-03-06, 09:51 PM   #4
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Oh yeah, f###ing wind

Aerobars help in a steady headwind, but if it's gusty, especially from the sides, it can get dangerous.

Allow plenty of extra time, especially if you have a long commute.

The big challenge for me - get your headspace right. Big winds really mess with my phsyche so I have to take a little time before the ride to have that internal conversation with myself about not letting it get to me. the flipside is that I just love big tailwinds, nothing like lazily loping along at 30+ mph with very little effort.
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Old 12-04-06, 02:41 AM   #5
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I just drop a gear, keep my feet moving and get very low the the bar. Also if you have a tight shirt on it will not slow you down as much as a lose fitting shirt will.

I also love a good tailwind. even a 7 mph tailwind adds 4 mph to your speed.

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Old 12-04-06, 03:54 AM   #6
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Yuk. There is no weather condition i find more frustrating than wind - being slowed down with nothing to point at to blame!
I drop down a few gears to keep the cadence up and ride slightly further into the lane to allow for wind-induced swerving - if i'm further out, the cars have to make a manouvre out of coming past me instead of just trying to squeeze through.
If there is a cross-wind i twist my upper body to try to create a 'sail' effect so that it pushes me forward. There is probably no discernable benefit to this, but it makes me feel like i am working with the wind rather than against it.

Marylandnewbie - i had a very similar incident on Friday night, but fortunately the branch i hit was not big enough to take me down. No time to brake or avoid, so I pulled up the front as hard as i could and let the back wheel take the impact. It was a hard thud but, being wood i suppose, it didn't seem to have caused any damage.
I don't bother with any sort of first aid kit, but then i'm painfully ill equipped at the best of times - it's only in the last 6 weeks i've carried a spare tube and pump to deal with punctures!
I guess i've had about 10,000 miles from the deraileur on my flat bar commuter, but it's well and truly exhausted now. You can buy replacement pulleys for most Shimano and Sram rear derailleurs.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:15 AM   #7
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BikeUK -- no fancy moves for me, just a face forward dive toward pavement. I looked at the tree this morning and it was way to big to have jumped over. Fortunately I was going slow enough to avoid real damage. I like your idea of trying to make a sail -- now if I can just find some extra previously unknown coordination I'll give it a try. I'll have to check for new pulleys, since the rest of the derailleur seems fine.

First serious cold ride this AM with temps in the mid-30s with windchills down to about 18F. Most of the time it was a gusty headwind, but sometimes a crosswind just to keep things interesting. I think I dressed right on the borderline between just right and too little. Tomorrow it will be time for another layer since morning temps should be in the 20s. Fortunately, no rain or snow in sight for the whole week.
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Old 12-04-06, 09:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
....The big challenge for me - get your headspace right. Big winds really mess with my phsyche so I have to take a little time before the ride to have that internal conversation with myself about not letting it get to me. the flipside is that I just love big tailwinds, nothing like lazily loping along at 30+ mph with very little effort.
Was it you or tibike who starts mocking God in these conditions: "you call this wind? This isn't wind, this is nothing! How about a little wind here, I'm getting totally bored for crying out loud!"
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Old 12-04-06, 09:41 AM   #9
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I had to wear a real thermal base layer this morning. Brr freaking cold, really strong headwind. I probably looked like a goofball wearing a balaclava, ski goggles, a bike helmet, and a crossing guard vest, but I'd rather look like a goofball than a speed bump. The goggles were probably a bit unnecessary, but they kept my entire face toasty, which is, after all, why I wore them. The headwind with gusts of 30 MPH pushed effortlessly through my jeans, but the base layer kept me from getting too cold. I didn't feel too terribly "extreme" today.
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Old 12-04-06, 11:43 AM   #10
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Well anice windy and cold commute this morning, but boy was it nice.

I am going to be off the bike for a week or so, as I go under the knife tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a nice week.
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Old 12-04-06, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mars
Was it you or tibike who starts mocking God in these conditions: "you call this wind? This isn't wind, this is nothing! How about a little wind here, I'm getting totally bored for crying out loud!"
Yup, that's me.
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Old 12-04-06, 12:00 PM   #12
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13F this morning. I need better cold weather clothing. Feet freezing, head hot, legs chilled, torso warm.
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Old 12-04-06, 12:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mars
Was it you or tibike who starts mocking God in these conditions: "you call this wind? This isn't wind, this is nothing! How about a little wind here, I'm getting totally bored for crying out loud!"
I usually pray to the Druid gods, so that the trees can block the wind
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Old 12-04-06, 01:11 PM   #14
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When it's really windy or cold or both. I get mad and use that anger to help keep the speed up. So I don't cures the wind or cold I use use it to go faster
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Old 12-04-06, 01:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tibikefor2
Well anice windy and cold commute this morning, but boy was it nice.

I am going to be off the bike for a week or so, as I go under the knife tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a nice week.
Whoa, holy crap that's right!

Good luck, my friend. Please post soon to let us know that you are ok.
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Old 12-04-06, 07:46 PM   #16
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tbike,

Get well soon. I am due for surgery on my sholder soon, not looking forward to being off the bike for two months, but it will be nice to get rid of the pain.

Based on the cold wind this morning, I think I will opt for Jan and Feb to be grounded. - brrrrr.

Gonna have to find another layer for the morning, I had every thing on this morning and was borderline cold.

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Old 12-04-06, 09:42 PM   #17
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Tibike -- hope all goes well in the surgery and that you recover fast.

Xroader -- good luck on your surgery as well. I agree this AM was cold and tomorrow should be colder -- good time to test out your layers.
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Old 12-05-06, 08:07 AM   #18
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Tibike, I'm thinking happy thoughts and sending some good energy your way for a speedy recovery.
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Old 12-05-06, 09:06 AM   #19
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I further practiced my flat patching skills this morning. It looks like my Pasela Panaracer Tour Guard tire is not doing much guarding. Any place on the tire where I have had to dig out a piece of wire or glass shard that worked its way through the Kevlar I have a small hole. One of those appeared to open enough to let a small bit of tube to protrude and create a nice almost perfectly round hole in the tube. There are many good things about the tire, but flat protection is not impressing me. I think its time for a replacement.

Otherwise clear and cold this morning. Ordered a new derailleur last night since it was cheaper than replacement pulleys. Kind of a sad comment on disposable goods. Anyway it looks like I'll be starting the new year with a significantly refurbished bike thanks to regular replacement and some coincidental wearing out of parts.
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Old 12-05-06, 01:54 PM   #20
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Temps in the teens today. First real taste of winter like conditions. And ice. My route includes a couple of miles of MUP. They tend ot have standing puddles of water that, of course, freeze in the winter. Gotta be carefu going over those babies on slicks!

My tips on wind:
We all have ridden enough to do the obvious, like lowering our bodies. After that, it becomes a game of accumulated small varibles. I try and wear tight, cycling specific clothes. Anythng that flaps is really slowing you down. I weara messenger bag, slung on the small of my back, rather than panniers. Keep your elbows turned in!. Water bottles act like sails and improve your performance on windy days. Use the draft of large vehicles going by, esp busses. You can really get going in the draft of a bus. They tend to maneuver slowly because of their passengers, so you usually won't get a surprise brake or veer out of them. Lastly, ride a little harder then you normally do, spinning fast. Don't let the elements get you down, defy the mindless forces of nature with greater fire and determination!
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Old 12-05-06, 07:52 PM   #21
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I further practiced my flat patching skills this morning. It looks like my Pasela Panaracer Tour Guard tire is not doing much guarding. Any place on the tire where I have had to dig out a piece of wire or glass shard that worked its way through the Kevlar I have a small hole. One of those appeared to open enough to let a small bit of tube to protrude and create a nice almost perfectly round hole in the tube. There are many good things about the tire, but flat protection is not impressing me. I think its time for a replacement.

Otherwise clear and cold this morning. Ordered a new derailleur last night since it was cheaper than replacement pulleys. Kind of a sad comment on disposable goods. Anyway it looks like I'll be starting the new year with a significantly refurbished bike thanks to regular replacement and some coincidental wearing out of parts.
Newbie:

I have two armadillos that I will not be using. I would be happy to make a donation to you.
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Old 12-05-06, 10:58 PM   #22
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Newbie:

I have two armadillos that I will not be using. I would be happy to make a donation to you.
Hey! Did you get your surgery? Are you ok?
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Old 12-06-06, 01:33 AM   #23
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With the wind to my back, the ride in was very quick and effortless this morning...


it's going to be a s l o w ride home!
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Old 12-06-06, 05:05 AM   #24
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Hey! Did you get your surgery? Are you ok?
HI Mars:

Had my surgery yesterday and came through with flying colors. I no longer have a deviated septum and the surgeon also removed two cysts from from my sinuses. I can already breathe better. The only downside is that I have to be off the bike for two weeks. Thanks for asking.
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Old 12-06-06, 09:43 AM   #25
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Tibike -- Glad to hear the surgery went well. Two weeks isn't a huge sacrifice for the abuility to breathe unencumbered -- of course now you'll get a full dose of D.C. air in summer! What size are those Armadillos?

I did an extra 4 miles this morning. Dropped my son off at school and then realized that I had forgotten the lock for his bike. So I locked it up with my lock and made a quick trip home to get the lock, back to school to lock his bike and retrieve my lock and finally off to work. It was not a good morning, although we were treated to a thick layer of frost on the bridge which made things glitter in amazing ways. Its cold, but the weather is so clear it is actually wonderful riding weather. I heard on the news this morning that by this time last year we had our first inch of snow. Nothing like that in sight for at least the next week.
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