Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Difficult wind is difficult

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Difficult wind is difficult

Old 11-10-17, 03:32 PM
  #26  
RoadKill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 167

Bikes: Specialized AWOL, Specialized Roubaix, Niner Air9, Turner Sultan

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
I recently found that wind is much more tolerable if I don't know how slow I'm going. On a windy day my commute time might be an extra 20% extra but if I'm not watching my speed (garmin in my pocket) I don't notice nearly so much. I'll do most of my complaining after I get home and see how long it was.

Luckily in AZ we don't get nearly the wind you get out in the midwest, I've never had it so bad here that I could only go 8mph but I can imagine how frustrating that would be.
RoadKill is offline  
Old 11-10-17, 03:35 PM
  #27  
mtb_addict
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,909
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3015 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
I imagine aerodynamic is very important. I mean like wearing a jacket that turn into a sail is bad.
Panniers are bad.
Arm stick out is bad.
Sitting upright is bad.


Getting the back parallel to the ground is good.
mtb_addict is offline  
Old 11-10-17, 04:32 PM
  #28  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,928

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6836 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 215 Times in 179 Posts
Battle Mountain IHPVA time trial bikes are all laying down in a body shaped like a fish. speed is up over 80 MPH timed over 200M , flying start..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-10-17, 04:40 PM
  #29  
Fargo Wolf
Resident smartass.
 
Fargo Wolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
Posts: 478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Headwind? What is this "headwind" you speak of? That's just resistance training you are experiencing.

Joking aside, I wouldn't worry too much about the wind. Just gear down to whatever is comfortable and go from there. Don't worry about a set speed. Look at it as a positive challenge for yourself. I look at it as a good workout.
Fargo Wolf is offline  
Old 11-10-17, 06:22 PM
  #30  
Abe_Froman
Senior Member
 
Abe_Froman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,530

Bikes: Marin Four Corners, 1960's Schwinn Racer in middle of restoration, mid 70s Motobecane Grand Touring, various other heaps.

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9288 Post(s)
Liked 42 Times in 36 Posts
I think we had the same wind in Chicago yesterday. Yea it was rough. I did a bit better than 10mph...but not much. It was tough.

I just think about how much fun it is to ride with the 30mph tailwind. I was passing cars while in the bike lane yesterday morning coming east lol
Abe_Froman is online now  
Old 11-10-17, 06:25 PM
  #31  
SylvainG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ottawa,ON,Canada
Posts: 1,255

Bikes: Schwinn Miranda 1990, Giant TCX 2 2012

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 480 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Hello,

My family and I have been car-free for about 9 weeks now. My work commute is 12 miles each way. I live on the extreme northeast corner of the city and my job is in a small town to the northeast. My route is basically on county roads through farmland. The prevailing wind here is from the southwest - obviously there is some variation but most days I can expect a little tailwind on my way to work and a little headwind on the way home.

Yesterday afternoon we had a wind from the west at 20 gusting 35. Basically all the roads on my route are on the country grid, so rather than heading home to the southwest, it's like a mile south, then a few miles west, a few miles south, and so on. So on the westbound "legs" I was riding directly into the wind, and during the peak gusts I could hardly keep the bike moving (I ride an old Raleigh road bike for reference). It made a small but noticeable difference to get down in the drops, but I spent the majority of the time riding into the wind in like 1st and 2nd gear, spinning the best I could and maybe maintaining 8-10mph?

Is my experience common? The wind slowing me down that much can add as much as 30 minutes to my ride - I usually make it in about 45-50 minutes but it takes me around 60-75 minutes when it's that windy. What does the wind do to anybody else? Are there some special "techniques" to employ? Any articles to read that have been helpful to anyone else? I do my best to not fight it and just relax and try to enjoy the ride.

Sorry if my post has a whiney tone. I awoke this morning to find that the wind had shifted to the northeast so I had a headwind on my ride to work. It was 22 degrees as well, my first time riding in weather that cold and I was not prepared so was suffering when I got to work. I have made some progress - the first couple times it got that windy it was all I could do to refrain from stopping and smashing my bike on the road and chucking it into a field!!!

Dealing with the wind is sometimes difficult.
I don't loose much time because of the wind but it's probably because my commute pattern is like a horse shoe (river between both legs of the commute). What I loose in one direction I gain in the other direction. I prefer when the headwind is on my first leg though. But to answer your question, yeah, head wind is a pain, specially when it's cold. See this article:

https://www.yellowjersey.co.uk/how-m...-when-cycling/
SylvainG is offline  
Old 11-10-17, 06:49 PM
  #32  
no motor?
Senior Member
 
no motor?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 6,085

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 953 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 43 Posts
My first commute was slightly downhill and with a very slight tailwind. I'm going to be reversing that in the next 6 moths or so and am sure that slight downhill slope and tailwind will look a lot bigger going the other way.
no motor? is online now  
Old 11-10-17, 10:14 PM
  #33  
wipekitty
vespertine member
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: from sea to shining sea!
Posts: 2,106

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 50 Posts
Difficult wind is definitely difficult, and 20MPH can be quite nasty. I usually just try to get as aero as possible and pretend that I'm pedaling up a big hill. I heard somewhere that "a headwind is a hill without a soul", so I think about that. In a way I dislike the crosswinds on ridge tops even more - they've nearly blown me off the bike.

I've started using something called My Windsock, which uses Strava to provide wind details for routes and rides. It's not perfect because it relies upon the accuracy of local weather reports, but I can at least see whether I'm being a big wimp or the wind actually was that bad.
wipekitty is offline  
Old 11-11-17, 09:40 AM
  #34  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,324

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 814 Post(s)
Liked 94 Times in 53 Posts
My commute is 9 miles. The wind can be tough. It is no fun having to pedal downhill...especially in the snow. Ten years ago or so I added aero bars to my mountain-bike commuter due to the need for more hand positions. That bike gets studded snow tires in the winter and slicks in the summer.

I found that riding stretched out forward on the aero bars, arms ahead of me like superman flying really helps, but only so much. And even with what little traffic I have it makes situational awareness tougher, even with a glasses mount mirror. Plus the handling can get a little squirrley.

Even on a calm day, leaning on the aeros gives me an extra 1.5 mph over my usual "hunched forward" position, which gives me an extra 1-2 mph over a bolt upright position. So I guess that makes the aeroposition about 3mph faster than upright...not much advantage heading into a 20+mph headwind...but it makes me feel like I'm doing someting.

Nine weeks is a relatively short time as far as building up your leg muscles, assuming you weren't a regular rider before this. In six months the windy days will annoy you, but you will be better equipped to power through.

I admire your fortitude.

Last edited by BobbyG; 11-11-17 at 10:00 PM.
BobbyG is offline  
Old 11-11-17, 06:35 PM
  #35  
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Posts: 2,649

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour, 81 miyata 912 and 86 miyata 312.

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 816 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 10 Posts
i sit pretty upright on account of arthritis in my neck. i can get a little more aero but generally i just figure i am going to go slower.

i have a brooks seat cover that has a pic on it of a guy riding over the north pole. sometimes i think if i just kept the wind at my back and went over the north pole it would be a quicker ride home. its a wonderful thing to get to complain about the wind. imagine not getting to ride.
52telecaster is offline  
Old 11-11-17, 06:49 PM
  #36  
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 7,525

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1533 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 45 Posts
I live next to a freeway and river in Oregon with a butte and mountains on the other side in Idaho so when the wind kicks up it can be enough to take Dorothy across the border into the motocross races. 20-60 mph (that's extreme and not common but possible here).
__________________

Marcia Brady rode a ROLLFAST!
Rollfast is offline  
Old 11-11-17, 08:28 PM
  #37  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 5,683

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1720 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 22 Posts
I find drafting a bus to be beneficial in a tough headwind...that is until the bus pulls away too quickly
mcours2006 is online now  
Old 11-11-17, 09:10 PM
  #38  
MauiKai
Thats "MISTER Poopypants"
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 73

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac with Shimano RS81s and 105s

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Head winds or "resistance training" as was mentioned sure does make commutes a lot less fun unless you enjoy the boredom of slow speeds and increased pain.

Yesterday with a tail wind I rode 20km in just under 27 minutes which is an average of around 39km/hr. It was great fun and a good workout with 58.7km/h max speed.

I turned around and it was a whole new ball game with exhausted legs.

The same trip back took me 56:26 with an average of 22.1km/h. Max speed was 38.9 on a downhill.

Just go with the flow and try to reduce drag going into the wind. I guess aerobars help by about 2-3km/h so that helps a lot. Consider them if you can.
MauiKai is offline  
Old 11-12-17, 01:06 PM
  #39  
alias5000
Raised a new winter bike
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 464

Bikes: HP Velotechnik Streetmachine GTE, 2015 Devinci Silverstone SL4, 2012 Cannondale Road Tandem 2, 2007 Trek 6000, Circe Morpheus

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Less practical thoughts:
Being someone currently dreaming about a recumbent bicycle/tandem....

Get a recumbent with a lot of recline and add a fairing. That should make you much more aerodynamic, plus it would reduce the heat loss due to strong winds.
alias5000 is offline  
Old 11-12-17, 01:39 PM
  #40  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 5,683

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1720 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 22 Posts
Well, that's just crazy talk.
mcours2006 is online now  
Old 11-13-17, 01:23 PM
  #41  
Phamilton
Gone
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ft Wayne, IN
Posts: 1,027
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by SylvainG View Post
I don't loose much time because of the wind but it's probably because my commute pattern is like a horse shoe (river between both legs of the commute). What I loose in one direction I gain in the other direction. I prefer when the headwind is on my first leg though. But to answer your question, yeah, head wind is a pain, specially when it's cold. See this article:

https://www.yellowjersey.co.uk/how-m...-when-cycling/
That article along with the charts was amazing. I used their numbers along with a wattage calculator and Sheldon Brown's gear calculator to determine best speeds/gears to use for each wind situation I usually encounter at two different wattages, one for when I'm feeling fresh and one for when I'm tired. The wattages I roughly figured using some ride stats I had previously recorded and a healthy dose of interpolation. Wrote them on a label sticker and stuck it to my stem. It probably won't get much use but it was a super fun learning experience, and gave me a good starting point for setting a target cruise speed for a specific ride. I'm not in great shape so with my long-ish commute, energy management is pretty important.

If anybody checks back in on this thread, I do want to mention that I am so thankful that these forums exist, especially for those who do not have any real world support when it comes to bikes. I am way more encouraged and educated than I expected to be thanks to the awesome folks who hang out here.
Phamilton is offline  
Old 11-13-17, 01:26 PM
  #42  
Phamilton
Gone
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ft Wayne, IN
Posts: 1,027
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by alias5000 View Post
Less practical thoughts:
Being someone currently dreaming about a recumbent bicycle/tandem....

Get a recumbent with a lot of recline and add a fairing. That should make you much more aerodynamic, plus it would reduce the heat loss due to strong winds.
I've never even thought about it until now. I seem to be flexible enough at the moment and fortunately don't suffer from any chronic pain that makes me uncomfortable on my road bike, BUT - I can't think of a good reason not to try one someday! Maybe I would love it! I think they look comfortable and fun to ride.

Last edited by Phamilton; 11-13-17 at 02:30 PM. Reason: spelling, grammar
Phamilton is offline  
Old 11-13-17, 01:29 PM
  #43  
PatrickGSR94
Senior Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Memphis TN area
Posts: 7,428

Bikes: 2011 Felt Z85 (road/commuter), 2006 Marin Pine Mountain (utility/commuter E-bike), 1995 KHS Alite 1000 (gravel grinder)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 672 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I also hate headwinds. I also live outside of a city, and work farther out from the city and ride mostly on rural roads. My work is mostly south and a little west from home, and in the summer the prevailing winds are from the south and southwest, and in the winter mostly north and northwest. So often I'll have a nice tailwind going home in the warmer months, but not so much in the cooler months. For years I've either just borne the brunt of the wind going home on my road bike, or taken the car instead. Since I've added an e-bike to my arsenal this year, I can take that bike if the forecast calls for unfavorable winds that would otherwise make the ride much less enjoyable, at least for me.
PatrickGSR94 is offline  
Old 11-13-17, 03:56 PM
  #44  
alias5000
Raised a new winter bike
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 464

Bikes: HP Velotechnik Streetmachine GTE, 2015 Devinci Silverstone SL4, 2012 Cannondale Road Tandem 2, 2007 Trek 6000, Circe Morpheus

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
I've never even thought about it until now. I seem to be flexible enough at the moment and fortunately don't suffer from any chronic pain that makes me uncomfortable on my road bike, BUT - I can't think of a good reason not to try one someday! Maybe I would love it! I think they look comfortable and fun to ride.
I wouldn't even look at them from the point of pain and suffer mitigation. I am happy and healthy. Had the opportunity to borrow a HP Velotechnik Streetmachine Gte and a Vendetta V20 once each. It just gives me a smile when riding them that I do not have on upright bikes.
alias5000 is offline  
Old 11-13-17, 08:08 PM
  #45  
downwinded
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: WKY
Posts: 730

Bikes: 2014 Trek Crossrip LTD, 2013 Raleigh Misceo

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wind hater here as well. I'm in an area that has that "shift" during the day. Usually it's not too bad, but when I try and view it as "resistance training" my knees get sore. Spin baby spin.
downwinded is offline  
Old 11-14-17, 09:21 AM
  #46  
55murray
Senior Member
 
55murray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 306

Bikes: 1955 20" Murray modified cruiser, 2010 Nishiki Colorado MTB, 1980 Miyata 610, several other vintage coaster brake machines

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
My family and I have been car-free for about 9 weeks now. My work commute is 12 miles each way. I live on the extreme northeast corner of the city and my job is in a small town to the northeast. My route is basically on county roads through farmland.
By the way, this is impressively hardcore. Do you have a plan for when the ride is not just difficult, but impossible? You are in NE Indiana and winter is nigh...
55murray is offline  
Old 11-14-17, 10:55 AM
  #47  
HardyWeinberg
GATC
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
Posts: 8,707
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 451 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Difficult wind, definitely difficult. I don't miss pulling the kids in a trailer into that kind of a headwind. It's all about aerodynamics, surface area has an exponential effect on drag. Make yourself as small as you can going into the wind. Can't swear it will get easier, and maybe 10mph is the best you can do and also good for you if you are spinning pretty quickly.
HardyWeinberg is offline  
Old 11-14-17, 10:58 AM
  #48  
Korina
Happy banana slug
 
Korina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Arcata, California, U.S., North America, Earth, Saggitarius Arm, Milky Way
Posts: 1,114

Bikes: 1992 Specialized Rockhopper Sport, 2016 Giant Liv Rove Lite, 2004 Giant OCR1, 1995 Trek Singletrack 930 1988 Specialized Rockhopper Comp (frame)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 32 Posts
I feel ya. I live along the coast, and particularly in the spring and summer the wind can be ferocious. Add that to a highway commute and the temptation to just take the bus can be overwhelming, especially with a month pass. My ride takes me around Humboldt Bay, so there's always going to be a headwind somewhere.
Korina is offline  
Old 11-14-17, 11:42 AM
  #49  
Phamilton
Gone
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ft Wayne, IN
Posts: 1,027
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by alias5000 View Post
I wouldn't even look at them from the point of pain and suffer mitigation. I am happy and healthy. Had the opportunity to borrow a HP Velotechnik Streetmachine Gte and a Vendetta V20 once each. It just gives me a smile when riding them that I do not have on upright bikes.
I've befriended the owner of the closest LBS to my house and he usually has a few 'bents in the store, I should ride down there and see if he'll let me take one for a spin. My daughter always hops on a recumbent trike she's fascinated with when we're there.
Phamilton is offline  
Old 11-14-17, 11:56 AM
  #50  
Phamilton
Gone
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ft Wayne, IN
Posts: 1,027
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by 55murray View Post
By the way, this is impressively hardcore. Do you have a plan for when the ride is not just difficult, but impossible? You are in NE Indiana and winter is nigh...
Hey, thank you! Maybe for some seasoned riders my commute would be a breeze (unintentional pun) but for me it's been the biggest physical challenge of my life so far.

I don't have a plan but it has been on my mind a lot as we're approaching winter. Fortunately for our family, I am the only one with a lengthy commute - my wife works either .9 miles or 5 miles from home (couple locations) and the further location is on the bus route. My daughter is 1 mile from her school and when it's THAT bad, well, they close schools anyway.

I have a coworker who is looking to offload some mountain bikes he saved from the dump at a jobsite. I may get one or both of them and outfit them with studded tires.

I have a standing offer with another coworker/friend who lives within 2 miles of me to hitch a ride if needed. I have taken advantage of his kindness on 3 windy afternoons and one where I was just too sick to ride.

Oh, yeah - I almost forgot that I can work remotely if needed, just have to take the laptop home the evening before. :-)

I'm sure there are some folks here that deal with winters worse than ours - any Minnesota cyclists hanging around? I have read that Minneapolis has a pretty big cycling population, many of them year-round, but I don't know of any real person from there. Not to disparage any other good examples, Minneapolis is just the first city that came to mind, and the one I remind myself of when I'm feeling cold (when it's still above freezing here).
Phamilton is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.