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The windchill factor of pedaling and other off-season Q's

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The windchill factor of pedaling and other off-season Q's

Old 02-20-20, 06:24 AM
  #1  
Sy Reene
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The windchill factor of pedaling and other off-season Q's

So what is the induced windchill factor from just the act of pedaling (say, at 90 rpm)?

Feel free to use this thread for any other random questions that are better to get out of the way during the cold season.
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Old 02-20-20, 07:23 AM
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What is this off-season of which you speak?
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Old 02-20-20, 07:45 AM
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I commute year round down to 5F, and many people ride in much colder temps than I do. The key is to eliminate exposed flesh.

And if you are completely covered, the effects of "wind chill" are minimized.

Below 48F I will put on a long sleeve jacket. Below 43F I will wear long pants. and put my headband over my ears. Below 32 I wuill wear a balaclava with my mouth exposed. Below 20 I cover my mouth.

I wear glasses so there is just minimal skin showing around my eyes. I carry some cheap lab goggles in my gear, and a couple of windy days atound 10F I put them on to cover those last few square inches of skin.

However...the other important cold weather strategy is breathability. You want to avoide over dressing or non-breathability, because if you sweat, you get wet, and that can freeze and make you colder.

But your question, "So what is the induced windchill factor from just the act of pedaling (say, at 90 rpm)?" asks about "rpm".

Rotations per minute is not a direct measure of speed, but of cadence. At any given cadence (say 90 RPM) your speed is determined by gearing, headwind and any upward or downward slope angle (like a hill).

I would assume that for any given speed mph/kph, the corresponding wind chill factor is the same for the corresponding windspeed, compensating for any head or tail wind. Cross-winds are perhaps added to the over all percieved wind-speed by some multiplying factor. A 90 degree side wind would add to any speed-generated head wind, where as a 180-degree tail wind can be substracted from the equation.

But again...just cover up.
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Old 02-20-20, 08:11 AM
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The windchill factor of pedaling and other off-season Q's
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
So what is the induced windchill factor from just the act of pedaling (say, at 90 rpm)?
Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
...But your question,"So what is the induced windchill factor from just the act of pedaling (say, at 90 rpm)?" asks about "rpm".

Rotations per minute is not a direct measure of speed, but of cadence. At any given cadence (say 90 RPM) your speed is determined by gearing, headwind and any upward or downward slope angle (like a hill).
IMO, what difference does it make? I have frequently posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
The way I organize my winter dress is by levels (link), 1 to 6. (I got that scale from whitewater rafting, where difficulty of a river is rated from 1 to 6, and it works for me). The levels do not mean layers, but the combination of gear for temperature intervals, in increments of about 10 degrees F

The level makes the job of selecting clothing very easy for that decision to be made on the morning of a commute, without going outside. Sometimes I may bring along a piece of apparel from a higher level just in case.

The scheme is particularly useful at the change of seasons to remind me of what works. Also, I choose by ambient temperature and usually ignore the reported wind chill temp, because there always is a wind chill on the moving bike.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-20-20 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 02-20-20, 08:31 AM
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why do daytime cold remedies not treat a runny nose?
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Old 02-20-20, 08:45 AM
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with zero wing, wind chill factor would be figured on how fast you were going. So pedaling 15 mph would equal 15 mile an hour wind wind chill, I'm guessing
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Old 02-20-20, 08:53 AM
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Are you asking how fast do the pedals move? What is the wind speed of foot as opposed to overall speed of bike? I calculated that once, it's just a multiplication problem with a bunch of different units. What I came up with was it does not much matter. Remember the bike is geared up and the circle of tire is way bigger than circle of crank.
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Old 02-20-20, 08:56 AM
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Rather than quote my multiple long answers to this question, I'm just going to recommend the OP read this thread in the *cough* Winter Cycling Forum *cough*.

Feel free to bump that thread if you have any additional questions, though.
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Old 02-20-20, 09:40 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
”The windchill factor of pedaling and other off-season Q's”

IMO, what difference does it make? I have frequently posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
The way I organize my winter dress is by levels (link), 1 to 6...

Also, I choose by ambient temperature and usually ignore the reported wind chill temp, because there always is a wind chill on the moving bike.
Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Rather than quote my multiple long answers to this question, I'm just going to recommend the OP read this thread in the *cough* Winter Cycling Forum *cough*.

Feel free to bump that thread if you have any additional questions, though.
Calculating wind chill…”
Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
We agree, and yes, it is splitting hairs.

IMHO & IME - proper clothing negates windchill factor.

OTOH - riding into the wind will always slow you down, and with the clothes to keep you warm, you will slow you down more as it gets colder. So windchill factor is more of a drag-factor ???
Originally Posted by AllWeatherJeff View Post
Oh, so you do believe in windchill?
Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Nope, I believe in dressing for the conditions. With the correct gear, windchill is not a factor.
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Old 02-20-20, 10:29 AM
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Windchill factor of pedalling would be something that affects only (mostly) the legs, as they are moving through air at slightly different speeds than the rest of your body. This applies also to indoor cycling, in which case the legs are pretty much the only moving parts of the body and thus the only ones experiencing some windchill. I believe it is possible to calculate this quite precisely, but I also suspect the results would be negligible.
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Old 02-20-20, 10:37 AM
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This thread was in my head while riding into the wind on the way to the store yesterday (12F into 13 mph wind) ...

The for-profit weather apps, channels, websites, etc .... they love extremes, it gets eyes and eyes means advertising revenue (I sell advertising, I know how this game is played). So windchill is a 'bigger' number than air temp and gets more eyes; in the summer it's heat index. Neither windchill nor heat index are worthless, but both are only a small part of the actual weather conditions and dressing to be comfortable while out riding.

Here are the things I will consider while picking gear for the ride:
  • Temp
  • Wind
  • Humidity
  • Precipitation
  • Cloud cover/sun
None of the 'feels like' stats reported by the 'weatherguy' factor the suns warmth or cold of rain; and these factors are bigger to my comfort than wind.
  • Sunny and 10F can be lovely and enjoyable; where 35F and cloudy with high humidity be miserable no matter how much wool you wear.
  • Sunny and 60F is summer kit weather (for this Toad); 60F with rain can leave you shiver uncontrollably if your stuck in the middle of nowhere (been there, done that)

FYI - the weather forecasting tool I use is NOAA hourly weather forecast graph:



For what it's worth, my riding includes temps as low as -28F and as hot as 102F (air temps).
I know a thing or two, because I've seen a thing or two.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 02-20-20 at 10:46 AM. Reason: I jump threads ... added link to the thread I was thinking about
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Old 02-20-20, 10:58 AM
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After I got some much lighter shoes,

I tried to translate the effort of not lifting that extra weight during the pedal stroke over the course of a ride

into number of stairs climbed.

This was shot down by those saying it's all rotating weight & doesn't really matter.
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Old 02-20-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Windchill factor of pedalling would be something that affects only (mostly) the legs, as they are moving through air at slightly different speeds than the rest of your body. This applies also to indoor cycling, in which case the legs are pretty much the only moving parts of the body and thus the only ones experiencing some windchill. I believe it is possible to calculate this quite precisely, but I also suspect the results would be negligible.
​​​​​​

I don't know the math involved, but it def has some effect. When doing indoor sessions, I've noticed that even when I'm working really hard and there's a pool of sweat on the floor around me, my feet are a bit chilly. My cadence for those sessions is usually around 95rpm.
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Old 02-20-20, 02:16 PM
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I don't think it matters much what your cadence is; it's the speed the bicycle is moving at and whether you're riding into the wind or with the wind at your back. For examples; if the wind is 15 mph and you're riding at a speed of 15 mph INTO the wind then the windchill would be 15 mph wind + 15 mph speed on bicycle equals 30 mph. If on the other hand you were riding at 15 mph with a 15 mph tailwind the windchill would be 15 mph = your speed.

Cheers
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Old 02-20-20, 02:45 PM
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Oh, it simply balances out - the greater the windchill, the harder you are pedaling against the wind, and the more heat you generate.
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Old 02-20-20, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
with zero wing, wind chill factor would be figured on how fast you were going. So pedaling 15 mph would equal 15 mile an hour wind wind chill, I'm guessing
Ok, but your foot is moving independently and faster than the bike, right?
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Old 02-20-20, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
why do daytime cold remedies not treat a runny nose?
Cold air, especially dry cold air, causes mucus membranes to secrete protective mucus.

For most folks this isn't an allergic reaction so there's no need for antihistamines. Decongestants may be superfluous if the sinuses are already draining.

There's no need to use any medication to prevent a runny nose if it's clear drainage. Annoying, sure. But probably healthier than the alternative. I've had chronic sinus congestion and inflammation for years. If left untreated it can become infected. I actually look forward to riding or walking on chilly damp days because my sinuses will drain naturally and it feels great for awhile. Cold dry air makes my congestion and sinus headaches worse.

Also, I'd avoid any all-in-one OTC meds for "colds" and winter ailments, especially all-in-one nighttime meds like Nyquil and generics. These often use the obsolete ingredients because they're cheap.

Generic nighttime all-in-one meds are the worst, often containing multiple anti-cholinergics that can disrupt healthy sleep (despite inducing drowsiness) and in the worst cases with vulnerable people -- especially older folks -- can cause confusion and hallucinations. These are particularly risky for anyone with Parkinson's or a family history of Parkinson's and related disorders.

Avoid any meds that contain:
  • First generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine ("Benadryl," which can be useful for emergencies such as reactions to insect bites or stings, or severe reactions to plants, etc.), chlorpheneramine, etc. These can cause drowsiness, sleep disorders, confusion, hallucinations, etc. And some have certain properties that can be useful for psychiatric disorders, but should be taken only under medical supervision. Frankly, I think most first gen antihistamines should be banned or regulated to require that consumers be fully informed of the risks -- and I don't mean the fine print nobody reads. Stick with safer second gen antihistamines like Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra and their generics. But only if it's an actual allergy, not just a normal mucus membrane response to cold air.
  • Doxylamine succinate, a "sleep aid" with potentially serious side effects. A small dose of melatonin, valerian root or even CBD is probably safer.
  • Phenylephrine, a poor quality decongestant substituted for pseudoephedrine. It's useless for sinus congestion and mostly useful for hemorrhoid creams to reduce swelling. For some folks it has worse side effects than pseudoephedrine or ephedrine.

I always choose single ingredient, single purpose meds: Sudafed or generic pseudoephedrine for congestion; Zyrtec or generic; guaifenesin, an expectorant for chest congestion; whatever OTC analgesic I prefer, usually ibuprofen. There's no need to take an all-in-one or duplicate meds if the symptoms don't apply.
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Old 02-20-20, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
no need to take an all-in-one or duplicate meds if the symptoms don't apply.
how about this stuff. I like it cuz it doesn't cause a bloody nose but stops the relentless dripping nose. I take it at night, usually only once a year for a few nights




Last edited by rumrunn6; 02-20-20 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-20-20, 09:15 PM
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OK, here's another one:

Assuming that coasting down a hill cranks level causes less drag than cranks rotating,

Wow many watts are needed to overcome that extra drag?
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Old 02-20-20, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
how about this stuff. I like it cuz it doesn't cause a bloody nose but stops the relentless dripping nose. I take it at night, usually only once a year for a few nights



I'd stay far away from that stuff. Coricidin HBP contains alcohol, doxylamine succinate and acetaminophen, a bad combination. It's best to avoid any alcohol at all when sick.

And it's pretty well documented that acetaminophen is already risky, and worse mixed with alcohol -- bad for the liver and kidneys. Even back in the 1970s when I worked as a dialysis specialist for nephrologists, the doctors were already talking about the apparent risk of acetaminophen and connection between large doses over time and kidney damage.

Doxylamine succinate is listed as an "antihistamine" but it's a crappy antihistamine for folks with seasonal allergies. It's really in there as a powerful sleep aid, and among the worst OTC sleep aids available. The worst part of including this sketchy ingredient is the lie that allergies are connected with colds or flu. Then they lie again about the real purpose of the stuff -- to knock people out so they feel like it really does something. But it screws up REM sleep and can cause dangerous side effects the next day for driving, bike riding, operating equipment or just functioning effectively.

To give an idea of how dangerous these anticholinergics can be (these all-in-one meds often contain two or more of this class of drugs), my mom's dementia worsened dramatically after a single dose of generic "Nyquil". She never fully recovered. I was her caregiver from 2006 when I noticed the early warning signs, until her death in late 2018. She was still pretty independent from 2006-2011. But she was very impatient with minor winter ailments and would escalate sniffles into a catastrophe.

One day in January 2012 she forgot about the antihistamines approved by her geriatric doctor, and went to the dollar store for a bottle of generic "Nyquil." Within hours she was hallucinating and paranoid, and I had to call an ambulance to take her to the ER. It took 3 days to recover. The generic all-in-one contained doxylamine succinate, phenylephrine, chlorpheneramine and alcohol. Besides the three anticholinergics, the alcohol worsened the effect. Mom was a recovering alcoholic, and until that day hadn't touched a drop of alcohol in 25 years. Fortunately she never did again after that. But I had to carefully scrutinize every purchase she made, and I often discarded many OTC meds, supplements, etc., she bought from dollar stores.

And despite my warnings and notes in her medical record, in 2015 a careless neurologist, newly assigned to her, gave her a prescription for a potent anticholinergic. She immediately suffered severe hallucinations, had to be hospitalized for a week, and didn't know who I was for several weeks. Her overall condition rapidly worsened after that. While this is not unusual as a palliative treatment for Parkinson's (even Benadryl/diphenhydramine may be used for some folks with Parkinson's), mom did not have Parkinson's. She had essential tremors, possibly related to her longtime use of valproic acid for bipolar disorder, possibly genetic. But mom's nurse practitioner, an otherwise wonderful woman from Taiwan who'd been mom's primary for years, had used the term "Parkinsonian tremors" in mom's chart. That isn't a diagnosis for Parkinson's, just a careless and misleading description for tremors. That neuro doc's misdiagnosis and inappropriate prescription infuriated me.

Ever since then I've been on a soapbox about the careless and unnecessary use of anticholinergics, which are too common in OTC meds. While most healthy adults can get away with using these, there's no reason to. There are always better and safer antihistamines and sleep aids.

If you need an antihistamine for seasonal allergies, try generic Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra. They're all much better for seasonal allergies, and safer.

For a sleep aid, try 1-3 mg melatonin. Or valerian root in tea (if you can stand the flavor of stinky gym socks), or capsules -- usually around 500 mg, I think, which sounds like a lot but it's really only about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. (Trivia digression: Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's super-detective, refers to a tea of valerian root in Murder on the Orient Express, when the evil antagonist murdered by every passenger, drank some before bedtime. It was laced with more potent knockout drops, with the odor masked by the strong and unpleasant odor of the valerian root tea.)

Or CBD, which works best for me (Lazarus Naturals and Sunsoil are the best values I've tried, and Sunsoil is 50% off throughout February.) Good as a mild sleep aid, relaxing for mild anxiety, and a good analgesic, comparable to NSAIDs without the GI problems.

Last edited by canklecat; 02-20-20 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 02-20-20, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
OK, here's another one:

Assuming that coasting down a hill cranks level causes less drag than cranks rotating,

Wow many watts are needed to overcome that extra drag?
After reading the theories that coasting down a fast hill may be faster than pedaling, I've tried both on a couple of handy hills in my area. I've tried it with tailwinds and neutral wind, pedaling and coasting. Not a whole lot of difference.

My fastest times came from pedaling until I was nearly spun out, around 130 rpm (I can thrash around up to 160 rpm but do that only on the indoor trainer for HIIT sessions), then tucking in and coasting. It seemed to work best with crank arms parallel with the ground, knees tucked in, etc. It was very slightly faster than my best time pedaling all the way down on my other road bike with 52T big ring and 11T smallest cog.

But some pro racers like Froome seem to prefer pedaling, even in Froome's awkward position on the top tube, which looks like a pterodactyl swooped down and stole a bike. I don't know if it's possible to accurately measure wind resistance in that situation.

The main advantage I can think of for pedaling downhill, even if coasting is faster, is to keep the legs warmed up. After a hard climb my legs go dead quickly if I coast down the other side. So now I pedal downhill, even if with low effort, just to keep the blood circulating in my legs.
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Old 02-20-20, 10:43 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'd stay far away from that stuff. Coricidin HBP contains alcohol, doxylamine succinate and acetaminophen, a bad combination. It's best to avoid any alcohol at all when sick.

And it's pretty well documented that acetaminophen is already risky, and worse mixed with alcohol -- bad for the liver and kidneys. Even back in the 1970s when I worked as a dialysis specialist for nephrologists, the doctors were already talking about the apparent risk of acetaminophen and connection between large doses over time and kidney damage.

Doxylamine succinate is listed as an "antihistamine" but it's a crappy antihistamine for folks with seasonal allergies. It's really in there as a powerful sleep aid, and among the worst OTC sleep aids available. The worst part of including this sketchy ingredient is the lie that allergies are connected with colds or flu. Then they lie again about the real purpose of the stuff -- to knock people out so they feel like it really does something. But it screws up REM sleep and can cause dangerous side effects the next day for driving, bike riding, operating equipment or just functioning effectively.

To give an idea of how dangerous these anticholinergics can be (these all-in-one meds often contain two or more of this class of drugs), my mom's dementia worsened dramatically after a single dose of generic "Nyquil". She never fully recovered. I was her caregiver from 2006 when I noticed the early warning signs, until her death in late 2018. She was still pretty independent from 2006-2011. But she was very impatient with minor winter ailments and would escalate sniffles into a catastrophe.

One day in January 2012 she forgot about the antihistamines approved by her geriatric doctor, and went to the dollar store for a bottle of generic "Nyquil." Within hours she was hallucinating and paranoid, and I had to call an ambulance to take her to the ER. It took 3 days to recover. The generic all-in-one contained doxylamine succinate, phenylephrine, chlorpheneramine and alcohol. Besides the three anticholinergics, the alcohol worsened the effect. Mom was a recovering alcoholic, and until that day hadn't touched a drop of alcohol in 25 years. Fortunately she never did again after that. But I had to carefully scrutinize every purchase she made, and I often discarded many OTC meds, supplements, etc., she bought from dollar stores.

And despite my warnings and notes in her medical record, in 2015 a careless neurologist, newly assigned to her, gave her a prescription for a potent anticholinergic. She immediately suffered severe hallucinations, had to be hospitalized for a week, and didn't know who I was for several weeks. Her overall condition rapidly worsened after that. While this is not unusual as a palliative treatment for Parkinson's (even Benadryl/diphenhydramine may be used for some folks with Parkinson's), mom did not have Parkinson's. She had essential tremors, possibly related to her longtime use of valproic acid for bipolar disorder, possibly genetic. But mom's nurse practitioner, an otherwise wonderful woman from Taiwan who'd been mom's primary for years, had used the term "Parkinsonian tremors" in mom's chart. That isn't a diagnosis for Parkinson's, just a careless and misleading description for tremors. That neuro doc's misdiagnosis and inappropriate prescription infuriated me.

Ever since then I've been on a soapbox about the careless and unnecessary use of anticholinergics, which are too common in OTC meds. While most healthy adults can get away with using these, there's no reason to. There are always better and safer antihistamines and sleep aids.

If you need an antihistamine for seasonal allergies, try generic Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra. They're all much better for seasonal allergies, and safer.

For a sleep aid, try 1-3 mg melatonin. Or valerian root in tea (if you can stand the flavor of stinky gym socks), or capsules -- usually around 500 mg, I think, which sounds like a lot but it's really only about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. (Trivia digression: Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's super-detective, refers to a tea of valerian root in Murder on the Orient Express, when the evil antagonist murdered by every passenger, drank some before bedtime. It was laced with more potent knockout drops, with the odor masked by the strong and unpleasant odor of the valerian root tea.)

Or CBD, which works best for me (Lazarus Naturals and Sunsoil are the best values I've tried, and Sunsoil is 50% off throughout February.) Good as a mild sleep aid, relaxing for mild anxiety, and a good analgesic, comparable to NSAIDs without the GI problems.
whats your take on the nyquil zzz sleep stuff? It's only purpose is to induce sleep.
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Old 02-20-20, 11:10 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
whats your take on the nyquil zzz sleep stuff? It's only purpose is to induce sleep.
Stay away from it. Nyquil and generic all-in-one cold/flu remedies are poison. They are to medicine what Steel Reserve is to beer -- cheap, toxic crap designed to give users a buzz without regard to the health effects. Nyquil is malt liquor for burned out high school teachers.
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Old 02-20-20, 11:33 PM
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I was referring to the zzz quil made by nyquil. It isnt to treat colds or flu.
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Old 02-20-20, 11:50 PM
  #25  
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I know a guy who does a bunch of DCs. He habitually rides a serpentine line which I have watched multiple times.

Figured out that it was about 5" wide based on weaving back & forth over the fog line- most folks will weave no more than the width of the line-

and the length of the wave about a bike length for each half.

Anyway, laid this out with string to calculate the additional distance vs a pretty straight line.

Over a mile extra on a DC, if I recall correctly.
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