Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Florida Panhandle
    Posts
    572
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Sailing lesson applied to biking

    Around 37 years ago I lived on the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina and bought a Hobie Cat sail boat. Unfortunately I had no tutor. My first day on the water, the wind was from the west and I thought it a great idea to run with the wind for hours, toward the Outer Banks. About two-three hours before dark, the thought of reversing course finally entered my "mind". A couple of hours after dark and I was becalmed god knows where. I did manage at great effort to swim, towing the Hobie to a lighted dock, where I found people and a phone. This was long before cell phones. I called my worried wife who picked me up leaving the Hobie until the next day.

    That did teach me a lesson since generalized to do the hard stuff first then glide. It's been handy in all sorts of contexts.

    I wanted to get a ride in today but weather was less that ideal. Temps were more than fine but the wind was from due south at 20mph, gusting to 30. Using my Hobie lesson, I picked a route that headed straight south, geared down, gritted my teeth and just pedaled into it for an hour. When the gusts were up, the wind was pushing 40 mph relative, there were times that 10 mph was WORK.

    But the trip back
    Was worth it
    Just flying
    Effortless

    I've gotten so I can't enjoy a downhill or down wind ride if I do it first thing on the ride but I sure do if I've already done the hard lifting.

  2. #2
    Has opinion, will express
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    13,009
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, there is always payback.

    I do have to say, though, I like the beating to windward bit. In a good wind, it can be wet, exciting and lots of fun.

    Less so on the bike. Wind can beat you up in some many ways more than just struggling to pedal into it. Keeping the bike stable, getting hit in the face with debris, the noise... it all adds up.

    I also am suspicious of rides that start with a downhill, because there is always payment due somewhere on the way back.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike
    Posts
    1,810
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can't say I learned that sailing but I caught on pretty quickly on the bike.

    Riding Rails-to-trails many of the hills run for between 5 - 15 miles. They aren't steep. Sometimes you can barely even see them. But 10 miles of constant pedaling is, for me, work.

    So, I position my starting point and set my course so that the return trip is mostly downhill.

    I occasionally run into newbies on the trail who pedaled 15 even 30 miles -- the last 15 miles down hill. Now they are far from home and facing a daunting task to get back home.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  4. #4
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    7,084
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yep, today's south wind was a bear to ride against wasn't it.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,900
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Easily one of the best days of my life was when I sold my O Day 19ft sail boat. Lesson learned.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
    My Bikes
    86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
    Posts
    7,246
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If I head out into the headwind, odds are it'll switch 180 on the way back.

  7. #7
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA.
    My Bikes
    2013 Caletti, Trek 7500 fx
    Posts
    639
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    If I head out into the headwind, odds are it'll switch 180 on the way back.
    That'd be Murphy's law as applied to wind management.
    there is no signature.

  8. #8
    Senior Member momsonherbike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    My Bikes
    '12 Specialized crosstrail, '96 Giant crosstrail, '12 Giant "Avail 1" road bike
    Posts
    79
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    I can't say I learned that sailing but I caught on pretty quickly on the bike.

    Riding Rails-to-trails many of the hills run for between 5 - 15 miles. They aren't steep. Sometimes you can barely even see them. But 10 miles of constant pedaling is, for me, work. So, I position my starting point and set my course so that the return trip is mostly downhill. I occasionally run into newbies on the trail who pedaled 15 even 30 miles -- the last 15 miles down hill. Now they are far from home and facing a daunting task to get back home.
    Yes, it would be nice to have clear sailing all the way home...but for those of us who live at the (highest elevation) west end of the trails, there is no "free sailing" unless the wind is blowing a rare easterly. If I want a downhill return on my T2T I have to start in the east - which means 12 to 20 more miles driving to get there, and dealing with higher volume traffic. BTDT. It just felt too much like...oh, I suppose you could call it 'cheating'. At 60 and unbroken I'm still young enough and fit enough to suck it up heading home the uphill direction. (yeah, I keep telling myself that).

    So... I get the freewheeling wind in my sails heading east and downhill, and consider it a fun and easy 12-18 mile warm-up for the technical teeth gritting hard working part heading back west on the endless inclines, into the wind, where I can use all the skills I'm learning to go faster and stronger. When I hit the inclines, I drop my head, lower my body, and concentrate on the few yards of trail in advance of my front wheel - one of the advantages of a helmet visor. Something rather satisfying about arriving back to the car all sweaty and blown out...but having done it faster and less winded than last time.

    Yet ....ask me what I'd give to have a heafty nor'easter at my back coming home!
    Last edited by momsonherbike; 01-14-13 at 06:38 AM.
    My stable of chrome ponies: '12 Specialized hybrid Crosstrail, '96 cromoly Giant Crosstrail, '12 Giant "Avail 1" road bike.
    My stable of real ponies: '90, '92, Y2K, and '02 Welsh Section Bs.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,280
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'll always take the tailwind when I can get it. Who knows - it might switch for the way back and I'll have tailwind for the entire ride! (Yes, it's happened before.) But generally, wind doesn't bother me as much as others, so I don't worry about it like I used to when I rode uprights. And anywhoo... the trick isn't to schedule so the trip home is the easy leg ('cuz it might not be,) but to allow sufficient time for a headwind.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike
    Posts
    1,810
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by momsonherbike View Post
    ... If I want a downhill return on my T2T I have to start in the east - which means 12 to 20 more miles driving to get there, and dealing with higher volume traffic. BTDT. It just felt too much like...oh, I suppose you could call it 'cheating'. At 60 and unbroken I'm still young enough and fit enough to suck it up. (yeah, I keep telling myself that).
    ... :
    I hear ya'...

    But, it's not just the cheatin' side of town, it's the more expensive...

    I ride (or try to) about 5 days a week. If I am driving 30 miles round trip (which I am) that means over a $1,000 a year in gas:

    5 days/wk x 52 wks/yr x 30mi/trip / 25mpg x $3.50/gal = $1,092

    (and that doesn't include wear and tear on the car)

    For me, that's getting real close to the cost of an N+1 each year!

    But, I shouldn't complain: at least in my case, that 30 miles round trip gets me not only to the closest access point of the trails I ride but also to the lowest point in either direction. It doesn't matter which I way I start, I am always coming downhill on my way back to my car.
    ... Sometimes ya' get lucky!
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  11. #11
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Specialized Tricross Comp
    Posts
    1,247
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had a similar experience to the OP on a windsurfer in the sound a little farther north near Duck. I also rode about 15 miles north on Rt 1 along the coast thinking wow I am flying today only to turn around and realize the wind had slowly and steadily built up to a howler. Both were lesson that stay with you. Unfortunately, not all locations offer the proper options to avoid wind or downhills on the return and the wind has a perverse tendency to change around and stick it to you.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  12. #12
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    6,455
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One of the reasons I cycle instead of sail (I've done both), is that I can walk much longer distances than I can swim.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New England
    My Bikes
    Trek 1.1
    Posts
    898
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Where I live in Maine along the coast the wind is generally from the Southwest in the afternoon. With that in mind I head South in the morning when the wind is light and then cruise home with a wind that is generally favorable. Of course, there are always those days when it perversely swings around so that the whole day is headwinds. Generally though it works and makes for an enjoyable ride. Two things do not work in my favor: the rivers that interrupt my course and the irregularity of the coast which means that I am sometimes fighting winds out of necessity. But, for the most part, home is "downeast"; with the wind.
    When I sailed on Casco Bay I was restricted by the fact that I live on the Southern end of the bay so usually had no choice but to tack all the way home to my mooring.
    Fuji S10S, Trek 1.1

    "The bicycle, in the hands of a novice, is as alert and acute as a spirit-level in the detecting of delicate and vanishing shades of difference in these matters. It notices a rise where your untrained eye would not observe that one existed; it notices any decline which water will run down." -Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bristol, R. I.
    My Bikes
    Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot
    Posts
    1,582
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tom, I've learned many important life lessons also on a sailboat. Sometimes, over and over again. A friend once told me sailing is life intensified. The good is really good and the bad is really bad. I began sailing in the Hudson River of New York State where it was necessary to deal with both wind and tide. If both were against you it was a long and difficult day. I've have since learned that in tough situations it pays to have at least one thing in your favor.

    I once sailed from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island. It was a long beat, day after day for 3000 miles, into prevailing westerlies. But what I had going for me was that I was on the homeward leg so that there was no choice but to press on.

  15. #15
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Basking in the Sun.
    Posts
    4,146
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have ride loops here in the mountains where the prevailing wind is always head on.

    However, it is common for the wind to blow up both sides of a mountain gap even if the road is a straight path. Hot air rises I guess.

    Generally though, wind up here is less of an issue than down at the coast or plains. We have trees that provide shelter unlike the higher Rockies or Sierra. It's rare I need to worry about direction though some days it does blow hard enough to worry about descending and the gaps can get tricky.
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Middle of the road, NJ
    Posts
    2,197
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That reminds me of a day from my youth. I decided to go for a ride along the beach. It was a bright, warm, sunny summer day. I was cruising through beach town after beach town, enjoying the sights. It was such a great day, and the riding was effortless. Must have been my great conditions. Until I had to turn back. WHAM! I suddenly realized I had had a good tailwind the whole time, and the entire ride home would be up-wind. Of course because I expended such little effort, I went a lot farther than I should have. I was beat, and beaten, by the time I got home.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I always try to go out into the headwind if possible and always if it is above 15mph. Doesn't always work due to wind shift but I do not enjoy going North from home with a stiff headwind and all that climbing that will be involved. Not hard hills but plenty of them upwards and very few where gravity takes over.

    But back in 94 I did a 100 mile offroad in a straight line from East to West. Early May and the wind should have been from the East But summer came early and we had a 20mph westerly blowing rain into our face for the whole trip. That was one ride where I realised that wind could be an advantage if you used it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I sail a 26' MacGregor. In biking as in sailing, I prefer the wind off the port or stbd beam. Predictable sailing both ways.

  19. #19
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
    My Bikes
    1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS
    Posts
    14,013
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The prevailing wind around here is out of the south. Almost all my rides head north in the beginning (into the city; I don't like solo rural rides) and end with a pretty good southbound leg into a headwind. So as much as I would like to "glide" at the end, it's simply not possible; I almost always end riding into a headwind of about 15 mph. The best I can do is tack a bit to the southwest until I am a little south of my house, but several miles west, then ride eastward toward my neighborhood, then finish the last little bit (a mile or so) with a tailwind.

    Once in a while, the wind shifts out of the north and I can get one of those glide-home rides. While more enjoyable, I definitely get a better sense of accomplishment if I have to push hard to get back home. Learning how to finish into a headwind has definitely improved me as a cyclist.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •