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Old 10-19-12, 09:53 PM   #1
con
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Uh oh, early ride data predicts not a fun ride home

Today I’m heading out solo on a quick 37 mile ride up the coast and back down home, with a very good climb inland in the middle.

About 4 miles into my ride, on a flat section, my ride data reads:
115 rpm
Heart rate 92
Speed 22 mph

What does this data mean? That I’m a 61 yr old stud? No. It means TAILWIND!

Daymn, I will get to slog into a HEADWIND on my way back down the coast!

As is said..If you don't know where the wind is...it is behind ya.
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Old 10-19-12, 10:04 PM   #2
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There are no tailwinds, only headwinds and those times when we are feeling strong.
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Old 10-19-12, 10:14 PM   #3
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There are no tailwinds, only headwinds and those times when we are feeling strong.
I like your style!
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Old 10-19-12, 10:31 PM   #4
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Funny how some rides seem to be easier on the first half than the 2nd. At least you had the sense to realise that way back was going to be a hard workout.
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Old 10-20-12, 03:51 AM   #5
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Last weekend I went with a group and rode into a head wind for 70 miles on Saturday and back for 50 miles on Sunday with the wind behind us it sure makes a difference.
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Old 10-20-12, 04:28 AM   #6
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Funny how some rides seem to be easier on the first half than the 2nd. At least you had the sense to realise that way back was going to be a hard workout.
+1
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Old 10-20-12, 07:59 AM   #7
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For those of us who cycle on the prairie know this dilemma very well. That is why most rides are prefaced by checking with the National Weather Service or other such folks as to which direction the wind is blowing. Most rides are planned with an initial charge into the teeth of a headwind. Obviously the worst of all possible worlds is when the wind does an about face at the far point of the ride.
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Old 10-20-12, 08:29 AM   #8
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For those of us who cycle on the prairie know this dilemma very well. That is why most rides are prefaced by checking with the National Weather Service or other such folks as to which direction the wind is blowing. Most rides are planned with an initial charge into the teeth of a headwind. Obviously the worst of all possible worlds is when the wind does an about face at the far point of the ride.
I hate when that happens. I remember one day I rode and thought the return would be easier, but no, the wind shifted and I fought a headwind or nasty crosswind the whole way.
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Old 10-20-12, 08:33 AM   #9
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Obviously the worst of all possible worlds is when the wind does an about face at the far point of the ride.
That sucks! Give me any climb, rather than a headwind....
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Old 10-20-12, 09:36 AM   #10
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For those of us who cycle on the prairie know this dilemma very well. That is why most rides are prefaced by checking with the National Weather Service or other such folks as to which direction the wind is blowing. Most rides are planned with an initial charge into the teeth of a headwind. Obviously the worst of all possible worlds is when the wind does an about face at the far point of the ride.
I question this strategy. If you head out with a tailwind, you have a greater chance of spending half the ride with favorable winds. True, it makes the ride home harder, but you could get lucky if the wind changes.
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Old 10-20-12, 10:01 AM   #11
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That sucks! Give me any climb, rather than a headwind....
Well in central Kansas we have very few of what most people would call climbs. There is one hill outside of the town of Andale, Ks. that gains 50 ft over the course of a mile. It is known by cyclists in these parts as the Alpe d'Andale! You almost have to plan a 50 mile ride for hills if you want more than 500 ft of climbing.

MinnMan,
Actually that kind of change of wind direction happens vary rarely around here, but with the strength of Kansas winds it is a memorable event when it does happen.

Last edited by Mort Canard; 10-20-12 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 10-20-12, 10:59 AM   #12
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Well in central Kansas we have very few of what most people would call climbs. There is one hill outside of the town of Andale, Ks. that gains 50 ft over the course of a mile. It is known by cyclists in these parts as the Alpe d'Andale! You almost have to plan a 50 mile ride for hills if you want more than 500 ft of climbing.

MinnMan,
Actually that kind of change of wind direction happens vary rarely around here, but with the strength of Kansas winds it is a memorable event when it does happen.
Though I too am in the midwest, we get more variability in the winds and the terrain. Certainly it's not nearly as flat, and though we too have prevailing westerly winds, we also get them from the N and S (or really NNW vs. SSW.)
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Old 10-20-12, 11:01 AM   #13
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Well in central Kansas we have very few of what most people would call climbs. There is one hill outside of the town of Andale, Ks. that gains 50 ft over the course of a mile. It is known by cyclists in these parts as the Alpe d'Andale! You almost have to plan a 50 mile ride for hills if you want more than 500 ft of climbing.

MinnMan,
Actually that kind of change of wind direction happens vary rarely around here, but with the strength of Kansas winds it is a memorable event when it does happen.
Wow, how different things are here on the coast. Our club ride, the more difficult one of the two choices, last Tuesday had a total of just under 5,000' of climbing with a max grade of about 18% at one point. More fun than a headwind!!!!!!!
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Old 10-20-12, 11:35 AM   #14
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Today the wind seemed stronger then usual to me even though it was less then lately. I hit the hill on the way home and an elderly lady walked to her mail box crossing in front of me. I said to her "You thought I was going slow!" I was. Some days are like that.
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Old 10-20-12, 11:39 AM   #15
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MinnMan,
Kansas is named for the Kansa indians. The name translates as "people of the south wind". The description is not far off. Most of the time the westerlies are just a small part of the wind component. The majority of our winds are pretty much straight up North or South.

con,
I don't know whether to be envious or afraid of your style of riding. I don't really enjoy riding hills mostly because I do it so rarely. I do know how to ride in wind and how to plan a ride to accommodate a strong blustery wind.
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Old 10-20-12, 02:13 PM   #16
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Mort---We have hills round here-1 mile long at 10 to 12% and you just get used to them. For the past few years we have also had winds but I will never get used to them. Try to watch the forecast and see the wind direction and try to head out into it. Did one a few weeks ago and 10 miles into a 15mph headwind and then 10 miles of crosswind followed by another 15 with a tail wind. 5 miles in and the wind got to 25mph so headed south to get a crosswind and that was not good. And as for the tailwind???? It didn't happen. All we got was horizontal rain for the next 5 miles as we cut the ride short due to inclement weather.
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Old 10-20-12, 10:30 PM   #17
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MinnMan,con,
I don't know whether to be envious or afraid of your style of riding. I don't really enjoy riding hills mostly because I do it so rarely. I do know how to ride in wind and how to plan a ride to accommodate a strong blustery wind.
You would love it out here. If you ever make it out here you are welcome to join our club ride. We have guests often.

Just to get you in the mood. A pic of Alba Road pinched from the web, one of our more nasty climbs, 3.8 miles and climbs over 2,000' and never drops below 10% with some pitches 18%.

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Old 10-20-12, 11:32 PM   #18
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MinnMan,
Kansas is named for the Kansa indians. The name translates as "people of the south wind". The description is not far off. Most of the time the westerlies are just a small part of the wind component. The majority of our winds are pretty much straight up North or South.

con,
I don't know whether to be envious or afraid of your style of riding. I don't really enjoy riding hills mostly because I do it so rarely. I do know how to ride in wind and how to plan a ride to accommodate a strong blustery wind.
I've done both - wind and hills. To me there's no comparison - wind is frustrating and demoralizing, hills feel like a great challenge. Sure, hills can leave my lungs crying and my legs screaming, but they feel worth it. I don't know why they are so different emotionally, but there you have it.

As to being afraid of hills - well, yeah, you don't start out on the Alpe d'Huez - it takes training and experience.

BTW, you don't have to go all the way to California: some of the best hill climbing country in the nation is in Wisconsin
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Old 10-21-12, 01:12 PM   #19
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It has been a long time since I spent any real time cycling in hills and that was the ozarks. Not any real sustained climbs but several hundred feet of climb then a screaming downhill and do it all over again...and again...and again..

Yes I know that wind can be demoralizing but it is what I am used to. If you live on the prairie, you don't pass on a ride unless the wind is absolutely fierce and you are in danger of being blown off the road, and yes I do know bicyclists and motorcyclists who have been blown off the road by gusts of wind.

Like I said earlier you start off by charging into the headwind on any ride you can plan out that way and keep telling yourself how great the tailwind will be on the return leg. Since many farm field edges have hedge rows, you can often use them to help block some crosswinds and quartering headwinds.
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Old 10-21-12, 03:15 PM   #20
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Like I said earlier you start off by charging into the headwind on any ride you can plan out that way and keep telling yourself how great the tailwind will be on the return leg. Since many farm field edges have hedge rows, you can often use them to help block some crosswinds and quartering headwinds.
Yup, that was just about an hour ago for me. I had a nasty ear roaring headwind heading up the coast this afternoon. So hard and loud was the wind that I could not hear traffic approaching from behind at highway speeds until they were right on me.

Like you said, there was a sweat pay off; it was a blistering paced ride back. As I sometimes do when such speed comes with such ease spinning big gears; for a brief moment I consider racing again. I then come to my senses realizing it is the wind talking nonsense to me and I just settle in and enjoy the feeling of the wind aided speed.
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Old 10-21-12, 04:05 PM   #21
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Is it my imagination or not: all headwinds aren't the same. I can go out one day in a 15mph headwind and it's not so bad but the next day a 15mph headwinds feels like I'm trying to go through a brick wall. Air density maybe? Just an observation.
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Old 10-21-12, 04:26 PM   #22
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Here in Ohio, I assumed that west winds were the most common. But it's a lot more complicated than that.

I posted in another thread about the interesting yearly averages data from weatherspark.com. (And their weather radar is really great, too.) South winds are actually most common here in Ohio, and the wind speeds change over the year.

From my post:



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quote:
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MinnMan,
Kansas is named for the Kansa indians. The name translates as "people of the south wind". The description is not far off. Most of the time the westerlies are just a small part of the wind component. The majority of our winds are pretty much straight up North or South.
...snip...
Here's wind directions in Wichita, Kansas: (from it's weatherspark averages page, scroll all the way down)








That's a lot different than SW Ohio:



And the average wind speeds are lower here, too. Here, we normally ignore wind speeds and direction forecasts, unless it mentions an unusually strong wind.

Last edited by rm -rf; 10-21-12 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-21-12, 05:39 PM   #23
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rm -rf,
Thanks for the data! As I said we are called "people of the south wind" and you can see why! This afternoon I did a short ride in what I consider a moderate to strong south wind, 22 mph with gusts of 30 mph.

It also supports my contention that if you always ride with the wind, you are not likely to see home again. ...at least not very often.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:23 PM   #24
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Super cool


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here in ohio, i assumed that west winds were the most common. But it's a lot more complicated than that.

I posted in another thread about the interesting yearly averages data from weatherspark.com. (and their weather radar is really great, too.) south winds are actually most common here in ohio, and the wind speeds change over the year.

From my post:



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



here's wind directions in wichita, kansas: (from it's weatherspark averages page, scroll all the way down)








that's a lot different than sw ohio:



and the average wind speeds are lower here, too. Here, we normally ignore wind speeds and direction forecasts, unless it mentions an unusually strong wind.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:33 PM   #25
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Is it my imagination or not: all headwinds aren't the same. I can go out one day in a 15mph headwind and it's not so bad but the next day a 15mph headwinds feels like I'm trying to go through a brick wall. Air density maybe? Just an observation.
Just your imagination, running away with you....

Air density variations are tiny. For the same reason that air barometric pressure fluctuations are small - no more than a few percent, unless you're in the middle of a tornado, etc.

It might be that you're not always headed directly into that wind. There's a huge difference between going straight into the wind and, say, having a bearing 30 from the principle wind direction.
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