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  1. #1
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    How do you mentally deal with wind?

    On my ride this weekend, the wind was whipping at 30+ mph. Due to the perversity of cycling (wherein 85% of any ride will be either uphill, into the wind or both), a lot of my ride was into the wind. So how do you all deal with the wind. Although I know that I will have to gear down and ride slower into the wind, it seems to be totally depressing to me to have to gind it out that way. I just cannot get to the point of emotionally accepting the slow pace, and end up ridding at very high heart rates for the entire time of th ride while going into the wind.

    Any good tricks to get to just slow down and take it easy?
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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    Anytime I ride into the wind I always end up exhausted because I just can't accept going much slower. What really bugs me though is that I only ever get a stiff back and neck when I'm battling the wind, I guess because I'm not as relaxed and I'm gripping the bars too tight.

    When I was touring last year I had almost a month of constant head winds and it nearly broke me. It made what would have been very easy cycling (it was almost completely flat) into bloody hard cycling cos I couldn't accept a lesser distance each day.

    I wonder if there are any tricks. All I ever do is curse the f***ing wind and plead just for a few minutes of relief.

  3. #3
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    Even if you ride out and back in a straight line, uphill and into the wind going out, and downhill with the wind on the return, it doesn't ever even out. This is simply because you have more time at the slower speed. Accept it. Just grind away and realize you are probably going to have less than 10mph average for the day.

    On my last tour, one day I had a 25-30, gusting to 40+ nose on wind and it took me over five hours to make forty miles.

    Usually the wind is less in the early AM. This time of year we have some pretty good winds here in the southwest US. If you have lights, try to get an early AM jump on the wind and maybe get in one or two hours before it gets up.

    Again, accept it. Uphill and into the wind is what its all about, always. Downhill and with the wind is just the icing on the cake.

    ".....and then the wheels came off"

  4. #4
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Just blow it off.

  5. #5
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I tend to ride for time rather than speed or distance. Headwinds therefore make for harder or shorter rides or both. Winds do not detract from the time I ride.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  6. #6
    Hooked on Touring
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    1. You cannot beat the wind, it will always beat you if you let it.
    2. Slow down - look at the petunias.
    3. Bike early in the day in the West.
    4. Wait until after 6:00 if you can.
    5. Stop often for goodies if you are biking against a headwind.
    6. Bring along a book - or better - a kite.
    7. Call your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, or Wanda.

  7. #7
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    ride on tree lined roads

  8. #8
    Senior Member jcwitte's Avatar
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    I agree that wind can be a bit of a downer, but so long as it is not mixed with cold, I think I can handle it. The absolute worst feeling is when you are riding into the wind on a cold day and your "boys" start to go numb. I hate that so danged much. I did a few rides this past winter and spring where the whole ride home was spent with one hand steering and one hand shielding myself from the wind. The first thing I'm going to buy come the Fall is some windproof underwear. As far as the wind goes during the Summer.... I just try to remember how scary some of my windy winter rides were, then I can laugh about it and that helps to accept a slower average speed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Neo, there is no wind.

  10. #10
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    Turn around and enjoy the push!

  11. #11
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    Just try to push it out of my mind and pretend it is not there. Don't try and push too hard, and lower my expectations of mileage. Accept the fact that I am going to go slower.

    I had a lot of time of think about this last year on my cross country tour. After 2 days of strong headwinds in Eastern Colorado I went to a libary to check out a weather forecast online, and the forecast was for strong easterlies (ie headwind) for the next week. Now that was heartbreaking and the low point of my whole tour. But I survived. The main lesson I learnt was that getting angry and hurling abuse at the wind doesn't help.

    Loud music helps too

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Just do like you say ... gear down and ride into it. It's a lot easier riding into a wind than climbing a hill ... and with wind you will get breaks now and then.

    I've spent the last 13 years riding into winds like that .... not a big deal. After a while, you learn to ride the wind ... picking up speed when the wind dies a little because of trees or a passing truck, slowing down when the wind increases in strength, etc.

  13. #13
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    What really bugs me though is that I only ever get a stiff back and neck when I'm battling the wind, I guess because I'm not as relaxed and I'm gripping the bars too tight.
    good point
    need to swallow your pride (and your usual cadence)
    That's what the low gears are for. Put it in a low gear and just find some zen point
    and hope for the occasional grove of trees to give you a break.

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    Build in some days and do NOTHING.

  14. #14
    pointless & uncalled for
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    I find myself a gear that is workable in the headwinds and lock into it. Then I start a little deep breathing and focus on that and if the road is decent and fairly straight I switch to auto pilot and start thinking of other things. If a circumstances allow me to speed-up I pick up on it pretty quick, but as soon as that headwind kicks in again I start again.

    The trick is to learn to be able to ignore the headwind as soon as possible. Kind of zen style.

  15. #15
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    Just like everything else in the U.S. We Americans can not slow down. Just slow way down and enjoy it. I find that I can get a good workout with the wind.

  16. #16
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    I have aero bars on my touring bike. When going against strong winds (assuming traffic conditions allow) I snuggle down into the aero bars, find a nice low-gear, relax my body and my expectations, and just do the best that I can. If I only average 5 mph, that's fine. Better to have a nice time than to be frustrated by forces that are not under my control!

    Someone else said something about looking at the petunias! Great advice!!!

  17. #17
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    There is something about wind that just drives people nuts--maybe literally. When I was in Austria, I heard about a wind called the fohn, which can blow every day for a month or more. People have used the fohn as a defense in criminal trials.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  18. #18
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Tape over the spedometer readout so you don't see it.

    Some of my best rides were done by not displaying speed on my Polar HRM. If you ride based on heart rate instead of speed, you won't burn yourself out fighting the wind or hills.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I hate the wind. Here on the peninsula south of San Fran we get consistent 25mph afternoon winds all summer long, actually starting about now and going until Sept, when we get a brief Indian Summer with less wind. It keeps the air really clean but it is damn cold in the evening (50's - 60's) which is a PITA when that is the only time you can ride. Hard on the tourists too, espec if the fog blows in with it. I have come back from some long evening rides just frozen.

  20. #20
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    In New Zealand I was regularly riding against 90km/h winds -- one particular day it was 150km/h+. All you can do is just accept that you're going to be travelling a bit slower, get into a lower gear, and just pace yourself. Allowing some flexibility in your planning is a good way to facilitate this. Be prepared to do a slightly shorter day (which might also mean buying your supplies in an "earlier" town than you had previously planned), and try to look at the positives. What other things are there to do in that area?

    I remember one particular day on the Catlins coast where the weather turned unbelievably crap and I basically shortened a day to 65km at Papatowai (I'd been intending to go for Slope point). I just decided to take a morning visit to the Cathedral Caves the next day -- something that wouldn't have been possible in the high tide of the previous afternoon.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  21. #21
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignominious
    I find myself a gear that is workable in the headwinds and lock into it. Then I start a little deep breathing and focus on that and if the road is decent and fairly straight I switch to auto pilot and start thinking of other things. If a circumstances allow me to speed-up I pick up on it pretty quick, but as soon as that headwind kicks in again I start again.

    The trick is to learn to be able to ignore the headwind as soon as possible. Kind of zen style.
    ditto ... i just find a comfy gear, stretch out and zone out ... if it becomes too much, i try and plan a short day and hole up in the next decent town ...

    on my last tour, i zoned out while grinding into an unrelenting strong coastal wind and didn't notice that my two touring colleagues had stopped ... i guess i got about 5 kmn up the road before i realised, so i just sat in the long grass on the road side until they came into view ...

    i tend to do a lot of contemplating while zoned out and and cycling slowly too ... planning new tours, diversions or bike mods ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  22. #22
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    There is something about wind that just drives people nuts--maybe literally. When I was in Austria, I heard about a wind called the fohn, which can blow every day for a month or more. People have used the fohn as a defense in criminal trials.
    Yes, I'm familiar with that Austrian phenomenon. Also occurs in the Snohomish River valley east of Everett, WA.

  23. #23
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    I've only had my road bike a few months so maybe there's some newbie factor but what I hate the most is when I feel like the wind is going to blow me over. I guess they are called cross-winds?? Does anyone have any advice for dealing with that?

  24. #24
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    One tough thing about the wind is it does bob and weave some, forcing you to adjust your lower back (usually) in an attempt to keep balance and motion. So you can end a long day in the saddle against the wind with a bad backache.

    I have granny gears, and using them when i ride against the wind is my favorite trick. I am not a fast rider under any circumstances, so the wind doesn't affect me mentally. I find the noise of the wind isolating. One of the joys of touring is how close you are to nature, its sounds and smells...and often the wind destroys that.

    roughstuff
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  25. #25
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellenDSD
    I've only had my road bike a few months so maybe there's some newbie factor but what I hate the most is when I feel like the wind is going to blow me over. I guess they are called cross-winds?? Does anyone have any advice for dealing with that?
    A howling wind from your left (in the USA where we ride on the right) is the worst. My advice is to be careful! What happens is you canter over a few degrees to keep your balance in the wind. When a large car, truck, or---worst of all, a damn bus!---goes by, there is a huge surge of wind just as the vehcile arrives and then, BAM! the wind disappears for a moment, only to return when the bus goes by. Its very easy to wobble a bit, at the worst of times. So be on your gurad then this situation arises.

    roughstuff
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