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Thread: Wind

  1. #1
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Wind

    How does everyone else deal with it? I think I am being wimpish about the wind. But when I encounter wind above 15mph, it makes me stop my ride for the day.

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    Senior Member ljsense's Avatar
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    Don't use a cyclocomputer/speedo for starters. The numbers you see will just make you feel frustrated when you're going against it.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    If you lived in Manitoba for any length of time, like I did, you'd hardly ever ride if you didn't ride in wind.

    Let me ask you this ... you're posting in a Long Distance forum. Do you ride long distances or aspire to ride long distances? If you're going to ride long distances you are going to encounter wind, wild weather, traffic, hills, and all sorts of challenges. Just get out there and ride ... and get used to it.


    But there is a bit of a trick to riding into a wind. After years of riding into the wind, I've found that this works best for me ...

    1) When you are riding into the wind, relax and just ride at whatever pace you can maintain. Don't push it too hard.
    2) Watch for any potential breaks in the wind such as trees, buildings, bails of hay, etc. by the side of the road (if the wind is a slight crosswind), or maybe the road turns up ahead so you won't have a headwind for a bit.
    3) As soon as you experience a decrease in the amount of wind, ride hard. Push it until you're back into the wind again.
    4) And when you're back into the wind again, relax and ride at an easier pace.

    I seem to be able to make up a bit of time by pushing it through any decrease in wind.

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    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    I know I'm the Pied Piper of Bentville, but there is a world of difference between my upright bike (with bladed spokes) and my bent. Crosswinds aren't as nasty, and headwinds...well, I'm not very fast anyway. I consider it strength training. I almost like hills better, though, because you can always see where the hill crests, sooner or later.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsense View Post
    Don't use a cyclocomputer/speedo for starters. The numbers you see will just make you feel frustrated when you're going against it.
    The data on them i.e. mph, avg. mph, cadence; are not the things that make me stop. It is the wind in my ears. When the wind is faster, I can tell from the noise in my ears.

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    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Consider cotton placed carefully in the auditory canals

  7. #7
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    If you lived in Manitoba for any length of time, like I did, you'd hardly ever ride if you didn't ride in wind.

    Let me ask you this ... you're posting in a Long Distance forum. Do you ride long distances or aspire to ride long distances? If you're going to ride long distances you are going to encounter wind, wild weather, traffic, hills, and all sorts of challenges. Just get out there and ride ... and get used to it.


    But there is a bit of a trick to riding into a wind. After years of riding into the wind, I've found that this works best for me ...

    1) When you are riding into the wind, relax and just ride at whatever pace you can maintain. Don't push it too hard.
    2) Watch for any potential breaks in the wind such as trees, buildings, bails of hay, etc. by the side of the road (if the wind is a slight crosswind), or maybe the road turns up ahead so you won't have a headwind for a bit.
    3) As soon as you experience a decrease in the amount of wind, ride hard. Push it until you're back into the wind again.
    4) And when you're back into the wind again, relax and ride at an easier pace.

    I seem to be able to make up a bit of time by pushing it through any decrease in wind.
    I did live in Duluth(MN) for four years(Nov.'02-Jan.'07), the motorists were more laid back. It was just where the wind came from two directions-out of Canada, and off of Lake Superior.

    But living back in the DC suburbs where motorists' have a 'me first' attitude, so the wind here, makes dealing with motorists', tougher on the road. The wind here comes from who knows where.

  8. #8
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    I know I'm the Pied Piper of Bentville, but there is a world of difference between my upright bike (with bladed spokes) and my bent. Crosswinds aren't as nasty, and headwinds...well, I'm not very fast anyway. I consider it strength training. I almost like hills better, though, because you can always see where the hill crests, sooner or later.
    My avg. max. speed is 20-25mph, but the wind makes it tougher.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Consider cotton placed carefully in the auditory canals
    I am always trying to listen for the traffic.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    The data on them i.e. mph, avg. mph, cadence; are not the things that make me stop. It is the wind in my ears. When the wind is faster, I can tell from the noise in my ears.
    Do you wear a helmet?

    Noise in your ears shouldn't stop you from cycling ............ when the wind gets strong enough so that it starts pushing the bicycle around to the point where you can't control it, or when it stops you dead in your tracks, that's when a person might have some second thoughts about continuing to cycle.

    From my experience, on a single bicycle a crosswind starts to get dangerously pushy up around 80 km/h ... especially if I've got bags on the bicycle. On a tandem, a crosswind starts to get dangerously pushy at a lower speed like maybe around 60 km/h. And headwinds don't stop me in my tracks till they near 100 km/h.


    (And you're not still "taking the lane" when you ride, are you?)

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    pmt
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    Just draft and echelon behind other people. Problem solved.

    Heh, some of the folks on this forum did the Flatbread last November. I was in the first group to finish; the five of us were Gr, An, me, Br, and Ma. Gr did 60% of the work on the front, An did 38%, and I, Br, and Ma did 2% combined. It was a cold crosswind ALL day no matter what direction we were riding. Gr and An were happy to be on the front; they have 1000s of k's more on the road experience than the rest of us.

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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    If you can't see the wind it really doesn't exist.


    Winds can be demoralizing but they are what they are, a part of cycling. Just get yourself in a tuck and make yourself as aero as possible. We don't complain when it's a tailwind so...
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    These:
    http://www.slipstreamz.com/
    Keep your cadence for the gradient the same as in no wind, effort is up to you. If you're by yourself, you can do what Machka said and keep the effort even. If you're on the front, you'll have to hold the gear and cadence. In that latter case, try to find a cadence you can maintain, sometimes easier, sometimes harder. I'll usually do that even by myself. I'm just used to it. Otherwise, what Homeyba said. In all cases in a crosswind, be very careful of trucks with pup trailers.

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    Wind can make me bail on a ride too. 15 is just manageable if it's not gusty, and is about where I draw the line if I'm deciding to go out or not. If the forecast is windy for many days in a row, I'll push it to 20mph. I've been out in much stronger winds, and if it's not gusty it usually is OK-ish, but if it's strong and gusty... well, that can make me cry.

    Practice does help, a lot. getting low in the drops, and keeping a high cadence helps control. But at some point (and that point is variable with the person, the wind direction, the traffic conditions, the road conditions), it is objectively dangerous, and there's nothing wrong with calling off your ride and living to ride another day. Ride your trainer, go to the movies, whatever.
    ...

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    15 mph is only 24 km/h. Where I've lived there aren't a lot of days that have winds less than that.

    Last night when we rode the wind was blowing around 40 km/h (25 mph) ... quite common this year. Today was practically calm ... by morning, the wind had died to about 20 km/h (12 mph).

    But I have opted not to ride some evenings when the winds have been up around 50 or 60 km/h.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Do you wear a helmet?
    Absolutely

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Noise in your ears shouldn't stop you from cycling ............ when the wind gets strong enough so that it starts pushing the bicycle around to the point where you can't control it, or when it stops you dead in your tracks, that's when a person might have some second thoughts about continuing to cycle.
    I know the noise in my ears shouldn't stop me from cycling. I agree about not stopping until the bike becomes uncontrollable. I was definitely being a wimp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    From my experience, on a single bicycle a crosswind starts to get dangerously pushy up around 80 km/h ... especially if I've got bags on the bicycle. On a tandem, a crosswind starts to get dangerously pushy at a lower speed like maybe around 60 km/h. And headwinds don't stop me in my tracks till they near 100 km/h.
    Ok, Thanks for the pointer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    (And you're not still "taking the lane" when you ride, are you?)
    Yes.

  17. #17
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmt View Post
    Just draft and echelon behind other people. Problem solved.

    Heh, some of the folks on this forum did the Flatbread last November. I was in the first group to finish; the five of us were Gr, An, me, Br, and Ma. Gr did 60% of the work on the front, An did 38%, and I, Br, and Ma did 2% combined. It was a cold crosswind ALL day no matter what direction we were riding. Gr and An were happy to be on the front; they have 1000s of k's more on the road experience than the rest of us.
    Drafting with cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs', is a lot easier than drafting with a 18-wheeler, box truck, school bus, or motor home. Because of the length of the vehicle and the height of the roof.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    If you can't see the wind it really doesn't exist.


    Winds can be demoralizing but they are what they are, a part of cycling. Just get yourself in a tuck and make yourself as aero as possible. We don't complain when it's a tailwind so...
    Good pointer

    Gotta love those tailwinds.

  19. #19
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Wind can make me bail on a ride too. 15 is just manageable if it's not gusty, and is about where I draw the line if I'm deciding to go out or not. If the forecast is windy for many days in a row, I'll push it to 20mph. I've been out in much stronger winds, and if it's not gusty it usually is OK-ish, but if it's strong and gusty... well, that can make me cry.
    While it seemed a little gusty today, I eventually pushed myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Practice does help, a lot. getting low in the drops, and keeping a high cadence helps control. But at some point (and that point is variable with the person, the wind direction, the traffic conditions, the road conditions), it is objectively dangerous, and there's nothing wrong with calling off your ride and living to ride another day. Ride your trainer, go to the movies, whatever.
    I can't keep track of my (avg.)cadence, because that wire busted about six months ago. Everything else works.

    I definitely need to get the trainer out. Since the only time other than high winds that I won't go out, is if it is too dangerous for my wheels. Otherwise I go out in any temperature.

  20. #20
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    15 mph is only 24 km/h. Where I've lived there aren't a lot of days that have winds less than that.

    Last night when we rode the wind was blowing around 40 km/h (25 mph) ... quite common this year. Today was practically calm ... by morning, the wind had died to about 20 km/h (12 mph).

    But I have opted not to ride some evenings when the winds have been up around 50 or 60 km/h.
    The Weather Channel forecasted last night for the winds to be 15-18mph.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    (And you're not still "taking the lane" when you ride, are you?)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Yes.
    Well, that might have worked in Duluth, but in many parts of the world it is illegal and extremely annoying to the motorists. Stop doing that. As a cyclist, you belong on the shoulder, or riding as close as "practical" or "practicable" (whichever word your local laws use*) to the edge of the road.

    You'll probably discover that motorists have less of a 'me first' attitude if you get out of their way and stop blocking traffic.

    You'll also likely have less difficulty with things like worrying about traffic when the wind is blowing in your ears.



    *According to the DCMR, Section 2201.1 requires all
    drivers, including bicyclists, to be on the right half of
    the roadway. More specifically for cyclists, section
    1201.2 states that if cyclists are riding at less than the
    normal speed of traffic, they must “travel as closely
    as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the
    roadway, or as closely as practicable to the left-hand
    curb or edge of the roadway when on a one-way street.”

    http://www.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/On+Your+St...s/Bicycle+Laws
    (See the Pocket Guide mentioned in the 4th paragraph)

  22. #22
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    I have a clue about the direction from which Chris is coming. Wind can accentuate the noise from vehicles and vastly reduce the amenity of the whole cycling environment.

    It requires greater concentration just to stay on course and you do ask yourself if that is an ordinary sedan or an 18-wheeler coming up from behind. Or, where that car behind you came from when you didn't hear it like you normally would.

    The wash from big vehicles travelling in opposite directions can upset control of a bike, and if you are mixing it with traffic also passing you, then it can put your heart in your mouth in an instant. I remember a bad day on one tour when a constant stream of grain trucks passed me in the opposite direction with a moderately strong headwind, and I eventually got to ducking down into an aero tuck position to reduce the impact of the blast from each of them.

    Strong winds blasting from between buildings (especially down alleyways between skyscrapers) or even natural features on country roads can make control an issue. We had that last weekend riding the tandem through construction alongside large mounds of dirt, with a strong side-wind. Sometimes the wind swirls, so that you can't anticipate how you should react to it.

    What do you do? Hmmm... really you need to get out there and practise while the wind is blowing in what, are to you, non-threatening environments. And concentrate, every inch of the ride. Try to anticipate what the wind (strength, direction) will do at any one time -- in relation to your position on the road, the wash from passing traffic, picking up dust, and so on.

    And if you ride in wind, ensure you have decent glasses to protect your eyes. I've used transitions lensed prescription glasses so I only neeedd one pair for a ride covering day and night, but if you don't want or need those types of glasses, invest in a pair of shaded wrap-arounds for the day and a pair of clear ones for night riding.

    I dislike wind, too. Given the choice, I will take hills every time. But as Homey and Machka and others point out, if you want to do LD rides, it comes with the territory. During a Great Southern 1200 randonnee, I and another guy, a Brazilian on an MTB, got hit by a southerly buster that was so strong it literally blew Brazilian guy right across the road and into the ditch.

    Like every other aspect of good cycling, developing the techniques and judgment to cope with it comes frrom going out to practise in wind -- even when every fibre of your being says otherwise.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  23. #23
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    Always head into the wind when leaving so you have tailwind back and remember riding into the wind makes you stronger
    Pat5319


  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat5319 View Post
    Always head into the wind when leaving so you have tailwind back and remember riding into the wind makes you stronger
    That's a nice theory ... and once in a while it works .........

  25. #25
    Senior Member MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    It is the wind in my ears.
    I can relate to that and unfortunately, have no advice other than "ignore it as best you can." Back in '95 at the beginning of a seven day bike ride, a conversation came up regarding a new product we'd heard about--wind deflectors for the ears that clipped onto the helmet or glasses (can't remember details). We laughed about it at the time, but 450 miles and six of seven days of fighting headwinds later, a conversation with the same folks revealed we'd all been thinking more and more about those deflectors as the week went on. They apparently weren't a marketing success, but they still cross my mind from time to time, wondering.... :-)

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