For moderate headwind, my recommendation would be not to watch your speed readout, but your heart rate or your power meter readout. Riding against the wind is a bit like riding uphill, except you have less to show for the effort. Your effort needs to remain in a sustainable range or you won't finish the ride.
You simply can't win against a 32 km/h wind, unless it's very temporary (exposed mountain pass). That's too fierce. Just maintaining 10 km/h ground speed into it means fighting as much air resistance as going at 42 km/h (26 mph). If it was me, I'd either go ride somewhere else or ride on a different day.
I did my first century last week, self supported, on a Trice (ICE) recumbent trike. It took me 8:15 hours, 85 to 93 degree heat (103 'RealFeel') of which 7 hours was riding time.
I stopped for a light roadside veg stew and rice lunch about 30 miles into the ride, as I only left at 9:30.
I carried 2.5 liters of water, 2 dosed with Nunn electrolyte, 2 boiled eggs and 2 bananas. Trike was kitted with rack, rear mudguard, 55 liter saddlebags, lights and a full set of spares and tools, as road conditions here can be a bit rough.
I popped a liter of water by the time I left, standard practice for me when riding in the heat.
I've been off the bike for over 2 years until June, as I've been moving around a lot with stuff in storage or in transit, and have never gone further than 50 miles in my life before, so I started out just doing local rides. For the last few months I've been doing a hilly ride of 30 to 45 miles every few weeks, and about a quarter of the distance being steady to steep climbing.
in between I started with 60 km longer rides (got badly affected in the heat at first) and then built up to 80 and 100k, and finally 150km distances.
Especially in the heat, I found learning how my body needed hydration and food was really important. Probably the biggest lesson was hydrating as much as possible before I leave on a ride, and then keeping up with it during the ride. The other one was not to push too hard in the beginning or on hills.
In the end, the century was easier than the first 100k ride I did a month earlier, and I did it in less time than the 150km ride 10 days before, despite the route being the same apart from a long, steep climb at the turn around point.
The other really weird part of that faster time was that I bent the derailleur hanger 3 km into the ride hitting a hidden rock while doing a water crossing. I lost the 2 smallest cassette cogs, ending up with the lower 21 speeds out of the 27 original.
That must have dropped me from a 107 gi on top to below 90 (20" wheel).
After I got the derailleur to at least stop jumping cogs and shift OK in the remaining gears, I decided to carry on and just take it easy, and see how far I got.
It seems that was the best strategy, as I stopped for photos, food, snacks and drink stops, and even ate a 'banana Q' (cooking banana fried and dipped in melted sugar).
Unlike the other 100k and longer rides, I was faster on the way home than going out...
Unlike others, I much prefer riding on my own, looking at the sights, talking to people at stops, stopping for food, drinks and photos when I feel like it, and not being stressed to keep up when I'm slow or holding back when I'm fast. Especially as a recumbent trike (tadpole) has very different speeds on climbs and descents than a normal road bike. With all the tools, spares, bags, rack, lights and stuff I ride with here, the trike is over 45lb before I add water and food.
Built up DT, 2007 Fuji tourer (donor bike, RIP), 1995 1220 Trek
Originally Posted by unterhausen
last summer I rode in North Carolina and at the hottest part of the day I was having to stop every 15 miles for water. Under those conditions I felt like an idiot for not having a hydration pack. I rode with one on my recent 600k attempts, and it's definitely something that takes some getting used to. My second try was more successful than the first. Under very hot conditions, load the pack up with ice and when done drinking, blow the water in the tube back into the pack or you will always be drinking hot water. If it's not too hot, I can make it almost 100 miles on 2 liters
Haven't ridden a brevet yet, but really like long for me self supported rides.
If you have spare water, squirt through helmet vents...
With my camelback I'll drain some water on my bike shorts mid thigh.
Amazing how cooling this is on a hot day.
I use Keen sandals so I don't worry about water getting in my shoes, but if I wore shoes, then I would.
You simply can't win against a 32 km/h wind, unless it's very temporary (exposed mountain pass). That's too fierce. Just maintaining 10 km/h ground speed into it means fighting as much air resistance as going at 42 km/h (26 mph).
That doesn't sound quite right. I think power goes like s * (s + h)^2, where s is speed and h is headwind. So riding 10 kph into a 32 kph headwind is like riding 26 kph in still air.
Yeah, you're right about the force you're pushing against. But assuming one has gears on the bike, one can shift to a lower gear to make the torque the same. With adequate gearing, power is really all that matters.
you're absolute correct as power = work / time and work = force * distance. Force increases with the square of total air speed (ground speed plus headwind speed if you're heading directly into the wind). Therefore the equivalent still air speed in my example is the 3rd root of ((42 kph)^2 * 10 kph) which is ~26 kph, as you say.
A 20 mph headwind really is brutal! Another way of looking at the numbers: my usual level speed in still air is around 12 mph. Into a 20 mph headwind, the same power output would have me going about 3.2 mph! I have plenty low gears but that is actually running off my low end. My lowest gear at my steady cadence is about 4.7 mph. At 3.2 mph my legs are slowing down quite a bit - not quite at the death struggle stage but getting there!