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Wind riding

Old 06-09-16, 11:15 AM
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cncwhiz
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Wind riding

I live in northern Nevada. Lake Tahoe is out my back window, twelve miles away. Having the Sierras makes for some windy conditions. I have my own rule. If the winds gusts are over 30mph I don't ride to work. I have been wondering if you can calculate hill climbs verses wind. How much is too much wind to ride in for you? Oh, I am also at 5,000 feet in elevation.
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Old 06-09-16, 11:43 AM
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When I'm getting blown backward, I usually call it a day.

Honestly I've never stopped due to wind, but I've wasted plenty of hours peddling against it for nearly no gain. I have a fairly large frame over six feet tall, and I swear my body acts like a sail.

I'm pretty sure that your mountain winds are worse than mine though.
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Old 06-09-16, 11:54 AM
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Last time I rode in wind that gave me pause was last winter when a cold front with 45-50 mph gusts from the side at night made it hard to stay on the MUP. Then later in the ride, it was a bit unnerving passing under trees and hearing the crash of branches breaking off and hitting the ground. But, having no other options to get home, what can you do but ride?
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Old 06-09-16, 12:53 PM
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I can't recall skipping a commute due to wind, unless it came with some precipitation. There's always a lower gear!

I wonder what became of that Aussie guy last year who wanted to commute from Lancaster to Mojave.
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Old 06-09-16, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I can't recall skipping a commute due to wind, unless it came with some precipitation. There's always a lower gear!

I wonder what became of that Aussie guy last year who wanted to commute from Lancaster to Mojave.
It get windy out there too. I will be driving thru there next week. When I have to do an LA road trip, I always want to turn around when I get to Palmdale. Head winds are not to bad but most of the normal wind gusts here hit you from the side and almost knock you off your bike.
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Old 06-09-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cncwhiz View Post
I live in northern Nevada. Lake Tahoe is out my back window, twelve miles away. Having the Sierras makes for some windy conditions. I have my own rule. If the winds gusts are over 30mph I don't ride to work. I have been wondering if you can calculate hill climbs verses wind. How much is too much wind to ride in for you? Oh, I am also at 5,000 feet in elevation.
If you have a power meter. It doesn't care if you're going uphill or into the wind. A watt is a watt.
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Old 06-09-16, 04:01 PM
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Remember: there are no tail winds in bicycle commuting. I've hit winds so obnoxious that it was a struggle to pedal down hill.
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Old 06-09-16, 04:21 PM
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This has been one of the worst weeks in recent memory for wind on consecutive days. Last four days it's been 35-45 km/h headwind coming home. Got used to riding real low on the drops real fast, and cursing all the way home.
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Old 06-09-16, 05:02 PM
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I think your rule is a good one. You don't want biking to lose its fun and those high wind days can do that. A day off will make you want to get out the next day even more.
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Old 06-09-16, 05:06 PM
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Or the windy days make you appreciate the calm ones that much more.
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Old 06-09-16, 05:18 PM
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How low of a gear do you have? When the Wind starts blowing around here, (Boulder, CO) I drop it in the Granny Gear as long I as need to. It saves the Knees and your power. My Granny gear is about 30". Ask other bicyclist in your area how low of a gear do you need for very windy days.
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Old 06-09-16, 05:45 PM
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If the wind is expected over 45mph then I might bail out for that day. That has happened once about two years ago. Aero bars help in strong winds.
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Old 06-09-16, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cncwhiz View Post
I have been wondering if you can calculate hill climbs verses wind. How much is too much wind to ride in for you?
I think the effects of the wind on various riders/positions/bikes is too variable to be useful.
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Old 06-12-16, 08:20 PM
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Too much wind? Mid-ride on yet another windy day, you know the kind with Midwestern 360 degree headwinds and 40mph gusts, I think to myself "man **** this, I'm done with the wind"...but yet I find myself doing it the next time. Beats driving.
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Old 06-12-16, 08:29 PM
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I deal with high winds almost every day. What really gets me is that I often have headwinds in both directions since it shifts at midday. I ride along the Hudson River which is over a mile wide so the wind is gusty and shifty. Not only that all of the nearby weather stations do not report the wind speed or direction on the river, only inland,Mao weather reports are useless.

I sometimes cycle to work in the winter, and it's brutal.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:03 AM
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I am going to go back to my own rule, if it is not windy in the morning I will ride. I ride a trek 6000 mountain bike that I have setup for commuting. I have the flat bars on it but I have some trekking bars that I will be installing soon.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:10 AM
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The wind has never stopped me from riding, but it will cause me to reroute. For my commuting routes, there's an 8.5 mile direct route on busy roads; but with winds over 25 mph I reroute to an 11 mile route that uses a couple rail-trails.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by takenreasy View Post
Remember: there are no tail winds in bicycle commuting. I've hit winds so obnoxious that it was a struggle to pedal down hill.
Yeah; this morning I was hammering along in a middle-to-low gear to keep up 16mph on a hill I can usually coast down at 22mph.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
The wind has never stopped me from riding, but it will cause me to reroute. For my commuting routes, there's an 8.5 mile direct route on busy roads; but with winds over 25 mph I reroute to an 11 mile route that uses a couple rail-trails.
Wish I had that option, but they're still using the tracks that run right by my apartment and about a half mile of flat ground away from the office. For some reason they don't want to pour cement between the rails and turn it into a multi-modal route for me. Too bad, as it would be the only fairly flat route past the big hill.
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Old 06-13-16, 05:28 PM
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We get 70 miles per hour winds here. Summer days 5 to 15 with gusts to 30. I let my legs tell me what gear to be in. Worst part is I am a mouth breather, sucking up dirt sucks. One of my bikes I am building will have road gears and drop bars.
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Old 06-13-16, 08:03 PM
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Outside of a storm we'll get things called small craft advisories and lake-wind advisories so you might see sustained winds of 40 mph but that's pretty rare. During the winter, high winds and cold temps or snow can combine to create some pretty dangerous conditions.

In a decade of fairly dedicated bike commuting though I can't think of a single time that wind alone has kept me off the bike. I can think of plenty of times where it's made it not so fun.
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Old 06-13-16, 09:32 PM
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I live in a temperate climate valley, but I've ridden through 60 mph wind gusts blowing from every direction. Wind alone will not deter me from riding until a forecast of 80 mph+ gusts.
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Old 06-13-16, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cncwhiz View Post
We get 70 miles per hour winds here. Summer days 5 to 15 with gusts to 30. I let my legs tell me what gear to be in. Worst part is I am a mouth breather, sucking up dirt sucks. One of my bikes I am building will have road gears and drop bars.
Where is there? If you put your location in your profile, I won't bug you about it any more.
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Old 06-13-16, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoonO1 View Post
I live in a temperate climate valley, but I've ridden through 60 mph wind gusts blowing from every direction.\
If the wind is blowing at you from every direction, nature is just telling you that you suck really hard.
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Old 06-13-16, 11:02 PM
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I struggled yesterday to keep the speed up on a downhill due to wind. I usually do around 35 down that hill, but I was working to keep it at 25MPH. I then had to climb a 15 percent grade against the wind. Oh, and it rained too. All part of commuting. Why join a gym?
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