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Old 05-14-09, 05:59 PM   #1
HIPCHIP
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I hate the wind (humor)

Back in the mid-1970's I was stationed at Travis AFB in Northern California. One of the reasons they put the base in it's location is because it is normally windy there, which helps the planes get off the ground. But this isn't any ordinary old wind. No, this is an evil, thinking, conniving type of wind. I'll give you an example. One day while out on the flight line, the wind ripped off a piece of paper from my clip-board. As I went to pick up the paper the wind pulled it away from me to the right. As I went to grab it again, the wind shoved it to the right again. This went on over and over, as I would get just ready to grab the paper it would pull it away, but in a circle. I went around and around like three times before I got that stupid piece of paper.

Fast forward to now. I now live in Woodland, Ca, a few miles away from Travis. I have gone for several rides since getting back into riding a few weeks ago. I head off east from my house and have a headwind. I make a right and go south-headwind. Go several miles and make another right going west-headwind. Several miles and make another right going north-headwind. Last right turn going east again, still a headwind. This happened several times.

I was at my LBS and talking to one of the guys there telling him about it and he tells me Woodland is well known for being in like a tornado, the wind goes in a big circle, so no matter what direction you're going you are in a headwind.

So today I figure I'd outsmart the wind. Instead of starting out going clockwise I'd go counter clockwise on the same course. Seems to make sense as if going clockwise I'm always having a headwind, if I go counter-clockwise I should have a tailwind all the way. Right?

Well guess what? The freakin wind was a headwind the entire way. It's totally crazy, no matter what direction, what time of day, I alway hit a headwind!

At least I'm getting a good workout
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Old 05-14-09, 06:16 PM   #2
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Why not start in one direction - and if the wind is against you - change and go the other?

I know, I know. Your luck with the wind is as bad as mine. You know it's time to worry if you have the same thing happen with hills.
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Old 05-14-09, 06:23 PM   #3
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Why not start in one direction - and if the wind is against you - change and go the other?

I know, I know. Your luck with the wind is as bad as mine. You know it's time to worry if you have the same thing happen with hills.
Well, it seems that I have a headwind and make a turn and still have the headwind immediately, so that won't work. Maybe I'm just so fast I always create a breeze

As for hills, same thing. No matter what direction I'm going it appears I'm going uphill, but that's another story!
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Old 05-14-09, 07:48 PM   #4
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I've seen the trees near Travis. They all point east. At quite an angle too.
I'm in Antioch, where, if the temps are nice the wind is blowing. But at least it's reasonably consistent. If going to work is a slog, coming back just screams!
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Old 05-14-09, 08:00 PM   #5
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I've seen the trees near Travis. They all point east. At quite an angle too.
I'm in Antioch, where, if the temps are nice the wind is blowing. But at least it's reasonably consistent. If going to work is a slog, coming back just screams!
I keep'a waitin for dat dang tailwind on da last part of da ride!!!! One'a these days I'm a gonna scare myself cause da tailwind be pushin me too fast!!!
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Old 05-15-09, 07:13 AM   #6
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I live in a valley surrounded by high mountains. There been several days where because of the swirl around the mountains, I ride almost the time in a headwind, despite my best efforts to have the headwind on the downhill leg.

But as hope springs eternal in a young mans heart, the forecast for this weekend is warm and wind free! Dare I believe it?
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Old 05-15-09, 09:13 AM   #7
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I live in a valley surrounded by high mountains. There been several days where because of the swirl around the mountains, I ride almost the time in a headwind, despite my best efforts to have the headwind on the downhill leg.

But as hope springs eternal in a young mans heart, the forecast for this weekend is warm and wind free! Dare I believe it?
Sure! I'd believe. Go find a nice hill ride. Nothin better than a headwind and an uphill......both ways
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Old 05-15-09, 09:48 AM   #8
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It's not the wind causing the problem- it's that new bike

If you ride with a tailwind at 10mph- and you are doing 20mph- then you will have a 10mph headwind. Slow down to 10mph and you are riding in still air. Solution is obvious really- slow down.

But the art of finding a tailwind is something that is aquired over many years. After a few years you know where to ride- or which wheel to follow on the group rides.

I always do a circular route and I check the met forecast before the ride to get the headwind at the start of the ride. I still want to know why the experts get it wrong so many times.
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Old 05-15-09, 09:56 AM   #9
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I always do a circular route and I check the met forecast before the ride to get the headwind at the start of the ride. I still want to know why the experts get it wrong so many times.
+1 on starting the ride into the wind. Many times I ride along the Mohawk river gorge and that can be a wind tunnel. On windy days I try to plan my headwind leg on a protected route and the down wind leg on an open route. A little planning goes along way.
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Old 05-15-09, 10:33 AM   #10
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Why not start in one direction - and if the wind is against you - change and go the other?

I know, I know. Your luck with the wind is as bad as mine. You know it's time to worry if you have the same thing happen with hills.

It really has nothing to do with luck, just figure it is always against you and you will be right 99% of the time.
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Old 05-15-09, 10:33 AM   #11
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I've given up using wind direction to determine my route. I've had plenty of rides where the wind changed 180 degrees within a few miles, so I just stopped worrying about it.

About the only thing I pay attention to now is the wind forecast. (Yes, the forecast.) Here's the secret: take the forecast wind speed, double it, and you'll be in the ballpark.

The forecast wind direction is another matter. It's really just a random number between 0 and 359, but it's useful if you're having trouble deciding what jersey to wear and you don't have a coin to flip (0-179, choose red; 180-359, choose yellow).
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Old 05-15-09, 11:01 AM   #12
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Get used to it. Norcal is windy. It is more than likely wind shifts and terrain that produce the effect. On the peninsula, wind is generally west to northwest. But on occasions, it will be southest to west in the morning shifting west to northwest as the day progresses. Leaving in the morning there is a cross to head wind and coming back there is a cross to head wind.

Altamount Pass is very special. This area has one of the highest concentration of wind mills in the country and home of a couple of races and favorite cycling routes. One can ride east on Altamount Pass road with the wind mills lined up into the wind showing a cross wind and the wind will be directly in your face. Come out from between hills and the cross wind will almost blow you off the road.

The best solution is to learn to keep a low aero profile and ride in the drops. It is more stable in cross winds and efficient in head winds. Plus, you get more power out of your glutes (less quadcentric) and it is easier on the knees.
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Old 05-15-09, 05:09 PM   #13
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Am I the only one reminded of the Lil' Abner comic guy with the cloud over his head all the time?

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Old 05-15-09, 06:25 PM   #14
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Am I the only one reminded of the Lil' Abner comic guy with the cloud over his head all the time?

You've heard of Murphy's law? I have a cousin named Jim Murphy, so I'm related to Murphy!!!
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Old 05-17-09, 07:15 AM   #15
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But as hope springs eternal in a young mans heart, the forecast for this weekend is warm and wind free! Dare I believe it?
I find it amazing that these days I look forward to low/no wind forecasts. I used to windsurf a lot. I could look out my office window and see the flag on top of the Department of Interior building. When it would start flapping I got antsy. When it stood straight out to the side I was outa there. I could get home, grab my gear, and be on the water in about 40 minutes. Now I see a flag blowing and I all can think about is what route I can take to avoid riding into the wind on the return leg
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Old 05-17-09, 09:43 AM   #16
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Changing winds

That may work some places but here on the Niagara Frontier (western New York)it's a daily crap shoot.
Past two seasons (this one is the worst so far)the wind speeds have increased substantially.
A 12 mph breeze at 9am often turns into a 25-30 mph wall of wind by 11 or 12.
Worst part is: You (and I have at least 4 times this month)can start out (I often ride up to the ride start from my house)and have a light wind in your face.
Get to the ride and have the wind gradually do a counter clockwise movement untill-by the time you're heading home the wind is right in your face for the entire stretch.
Having a hundred miles of open water and a predominantly westerly wind pattern doesn't help.
For the first time sence I got back into riding I have actually blown off doing rides because I simply did not want to endure 20 miles (out or return) into 18-30mph steady winds with gusts adding 10 on to that.
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Old 05-17-09, 12:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HIPCHIP View Post
I now live in Woodland, Ca, a few miles away from Travis. I have gone for several rides since getting back into riding a few weeks ago. I head off east from my house and have a headwind. I make a right and go south-headwind. Go several miles and make another right going west-headwind. Several miles and make another right going north-headwind. Last right turn going east again, still a headwind.

So today I figure I'd outsmart the wind. Instead of starting out going clockwise I'd go counter clockwise on the same course. Seems to make sense as if going clockwise I'm always having a headwind, if I go counter-clockwise I should have a tailwind all the way. Right?

Well guess what? The freakin wind was a headwind the entire way. It's totally crazy, no matter what direction, what time of day, I alway hit a headwind!:
You see a problem, I see opportunity.

Go to your LBS and post a subscriber sign-up sheet. For a nominal fee - say $10.00 - you'll advise them which direction, clockwise or counter-clockwise you are going to ride. For only $10.00 the other riders will benefit from constant tailwinds. Everybody is going to want to sign up, I know that I certainly would.
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