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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-04-07, 06:24 AM   #1
ECDkeys
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wind advisory

Never a dull moment in bike commuting. After lasting my first season of winter riding, I'm faced with a new foe: wind. A wind advisory has been issued for these parts. Oh, and it's unseasonably cold, too, with temps below freezing again. I thought we were well into spring.

I'm not sure what to do. I know I'll have to forego the fixed gear today, since the sustained winds are around 30mph, with gusts up to 45mph. My main concern, regardless which bike I choose, is not headwind, but rather wind from the sides, blowing me in all directions. The wind advisory cautions drivers of high profile vehicles, especially those travelling north and south. Great, that's precisely my direction. I don't want to be an inadvertant participant in a game of avoid the SUV.

Still trying to decide.
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Old 04-04-07, 08:49 AM   #2
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45mph gusts? Sheeoot, I'd stay home.
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Old 04-04-07, 09:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ECDkeys
I'm not sure what to do. I know I'll have to forego the fixed gear today, since the sustained winds are around 30mph, with gusts up to 45mph. My main concern, regardless which bike I choose, is not headwind, but rather wind from the sides, blowing me in all directions. The wind advisory cautions drivers of high profile vehicles, especially those travelling north and south. Great, that's precisely my direction. I don't want to be an inadvertant participant in a game of avoid the SUV.

Still trying to decide.
In my experience, 3 out of 4 times the wind is a head wind.

It was a wild ride here this morning.
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Old 04-04-07, 09:20 AM   #4
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I would throw in the towel. However, I am a chicken and would rather live to ride another day.
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Old 04-04-07, 09:31 AM   #5
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40mph is usually my cutoff point for wind, although there are some commuters up here that ride when the forecast for the Sound is 50mph+ gusts.
Typically the prevailing winds are from the SSW in Woodinville, and that means my entire commute home is right into them. Not much sucks more than looking at your computer and seeing an average speed of 8mph because you're busting your behind pushing into a 30mph sustained headwind. The only thing that I've found that sucks more is watching somebody coming the other way, big smile on their face, spinning out their 52-11 whipping past at the speed of sound.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:03 AM   #6
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20 MPH winds happen pretty often around here. 35 MPH in some stretches and in gusts is not at all uncommon. It all just leads to getting stronger.
The main reason that the wind bothers me anymore is that it blows a lot of crud off the road and into my eyes. This time of year there's still salt dust on some of the roads that gets blown around. Most of the year it's just sand and dust from the gravel roads.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:12 AM   #7
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Wind sucks, but it's all part of riding a bike outdoors.

Riding a fixed gear (or even SS) into a massive head wind is IMHO one of the least enjoyable things you can do on a bike. So I think that's a good choice not too ride that today.

On the other hand if you are on really busy roads with major cross winds, and you are feeling uncomfortable about it, it could really increase your risk. Perhaps not worth it.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:48 AM   #8
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Its been so windy lately over here. They hit around 29.0801718 mph. Its enough to suck the snot out of your nose if you look the wrong way... at 40mph winds... i don't see how you would be even moving... Yesterday i had to mash downhill, to avoid stopping.

Oh and even at 30 the winds it trying to flip you off you bike, and if you drive by a large building(s) there are gaps where it feels like your going to take off!

I love gusts, but this constant s*** sucks.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:58 AM   #9
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The worst headwind I've encountered was 30MPH on my fixie and I was miserable the whole way. Just put your head down and mash, it's about the only thing you can do.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:07 AM   #10
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Wind here, too: "A chance of flurries. Cloudy, with a high near 37. Windy, with a west northwest wind between 25 and 30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph." My route home is to the northwest. I took the train. I'll let the locomotive punch a hole into the wind today.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:11 AM   #11
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Well, by the time I hopped on the bike, the winds had died down, so I braved it with the fixie, because it's my favorite ride. About a quarter of the way in, I realized I had made a mistake, but there was no turning back. There were frickin' snow flurries, and they were blowing in my face the entire way. But, why is it that on my way back the snow flurries were again blowing right into my face? And what I thought was a headwind on my way in had no resemblance to the fury of a headwind I experienced on the way home (just got back in; short day). Mashing all the way, and freezing as well. I encountered only two other bike commuters, and both looked very uncomfortable. I imagine I wasn't a pretty picture either.

The plus side: I have an enormous appetite right this moment. Aside from biking, eating is probably my next favorite activity, and I am the envy of all my peers, as I eat twice as much as they.
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Old 04-04-07, 01:48 PM   #12
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It's only supposed to be 4-6mph headwinds this afternoon. A nice change from the usual 10mph headwind, but a far cry from the tail-side crosswind I had last night. I was geared up 2 cogs more than usual and feelin' good. Looked at my computer, and I was keeping a 19.5mph average!
Combination of cross/tail wind and not wearing baggy rain gear really paid off.
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Old 04-04-07, 05:38 PM   #13
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The 20 MPH headwind that I faced this morning became a 20 MPH tailwind on the way home!! Usually it shifts by then and I end going into the wind both ways!!
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Old 04-04-07, 05:41 PM   #14
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The combo of 50 MPH wind gusts, 30 degrees and snow made me wuss out for today too
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Old 04-04-07, 07:54 PM   #15
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The combo of 50 MPH wind gusts, 30 degrees and snow made me wuss out for today too
Good thing too man, it was murder on me this afternoon coming in. Twelve miles straight into it (heading east) with those little ice pellets smaching me in the face made for a miserable commute. My 40 minute joy ride became almost 2 hours of pure hell, but I made it, and my testicles are much bigger for the fact.
I'm still sore though and that was 6 hours ago. I still have 7 more hours of work and a twelve mile ride home in the morning.
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Old 04-05-07, 05:24 AM   #16
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It was really windy today too, i saw a plastic garden table smash in to a tree. Just before home, there is 200-400 yards of flat land, and the cross winds were so power full i had to ride at a slant. No snow here, just sand, and boy does it sting.
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Old 04-05-07, 05:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECDkeys
A wind advisory has been issued for these parts. Oh, and it's unseasonably cold, too, with temps below freezing again. I thought we were well into spring.
And we get to guess what "these parts" are?

-D
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Old 04-05-07, 08:34 AM   #18
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Funny how I said I'd say home yet I'm commuting today despite 40mph gusts predicted for today. Heh. Guess that 5mph makes all the difference!
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Old 04-05-07, 08:52 AM   #19
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I too decided not to ride into the wind this morning. I know, what a wuss. But I utilized the rack on the bus, so I can take advantage of the tail wind this afternoon...
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Old 04-05-07, 09:45 AM   #20
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I too decided not to ride into the wind this morning. I know, what a wuss. But I utilized the rack on the bus, so I can take advantage of the tail wind this afternoon...
Heh, that doesn't mean you're a wuss, it means you're clever.
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Old 04-05-07, 10:18 AM   #21
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So was there a lot of wind in New York today? I changed my tires out last night, replacing a no-name treaded 28c (front) and a 25c (rear) with a nice, semi-expensive set of 25c Avocet slicks. (Great timing: No tread and it snows in New York!)
I actually had a semi-tough commute this morning, and I'm thinking, Is it possible that skinnier, higher-pressure — and let's face it, more expensive — tires have more rolling resistance?
So I'm very happily persuaded that it was massive headwind I was facing.
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Old 04-05-07, 10:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
Good thing too man, it was murder on me this afternoon coming in. Twelve miles straight into it (heading east) with those little ice pellets smaching me in the face made for a miserable commute. My 40 minute joy ride became almost 2 hours of pure hell, but I made it, and my testicles are much bigger for the fact.
I'm still sore though and that was 6 hours ago. I still have 7 more hours of work and a twelve mile ride home in the morning.
So did you end up averaging 30 MPH on the ride home?
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Old 04-05-07, 02:41 PM   #23
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So I'm very happily persuaded that it was massive headwind I was facing.
Today's winds weren't so bad as yesterday's, and it wasn't quite as cold (at least the sun was out). I used the headwinds as an excuse for my slower pedaling, hence slower speed. I'll let the others try to pass me, working against the wind, for no good reason, since I always catch up to them eventually (they're spent, and I'm hardly breaking a sweat). Today's howling wind actually enhanced my enjoyment of the surroundings, as my "long" way home was measured not by distance but by time. Riding slower increases your time on the bike, go figure. It's a win-win situation.
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Old 04-05-07, 05:10 PM   #24
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It was pretty windy on the ride home today. Going in, I was pretty psyched - fastest inbound commute ever! It only took 1:12 today. Tuesday was 1:14 (previous PR), and that averaged 17.0. Coming home on Tuesday was even faster - total time was 1:27. Today's trip home was tough, though. Headwinds of 16-25 MPH. A couple cross-winds actually pushed me to the side, so it was a tough grind all the way home.
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Old 04-05-07, 08:55 PM   #25
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So did you end up averaging 30 MPH on the ride home?
Well, I'm not sure of my average speed going home, but I KNOW I hit 40mph on a downhill part. Plus I got home in way less than 30 minutes this morning, though I took the short route of 9.5 miles. My god that was fun!!
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