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How Much Wind Do You Tolerate?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How Much Wind Do You Tolerate?

Old 01-30-18, 11:45 AM
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RFEngineer
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How Much Wind Do You Tolerate?

At what point will you cancel your ride because of the wind? 15 mph sustained winds? 20? 30? I've had a couple beautiful days here lately, but the wind has been ridiculous. There's no way I can have an enjoyable time in 20 mph winds.
Alan
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Old 01-30-18, 11:53 AM
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mcours2006
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A 30 kph wind will do it for me if it's a weekend ride. For my commute I can tolerate much more--perhaps 40-50 kph.
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Old 01-30-18, 12:08 PM
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Well...20mph is considerable for cycling. But personally...I consider not only the wind speed, but the wind direction, air temperature, precipitation, and where/direction I can ride to/from. Last Saturday we had relatively nice weather. But the wind was steady at about 15mph, but lots of gusting to near 30mph. I usually don't let the elements keep me from going if I really want to. But, as bad as I wanted to ride...I didn't.

Dan

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Old 01-30-18, 12:13 PM
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I never let the wind stop me, because the ride home with the wind will be so fun. Rain, cold, snow those stop me.
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Old 01-30-18, 12:13 PM
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30mph days are for KOM hunting.
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Old 01-30-18, 12:38 PM
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I'm not used to evaluate wind speed. but I ride as long as the wind doesn't blow me off the road.
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Old 01-30-18, 12:51 PM
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I grew up in Wyoming. I fought wind on the calm days.

These days, I don't try so hard.
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Old 01-30-18, 01:03 PM
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If I have my mind set on riding, I'll tolerate 15-20, but will stick to more wooded routes, maybe just ride trails on the TCX. Fortunately, winds like that aren't too common, and don't last all day anyhow.
If it's just "maybe I'll go for a ride," 12 mph is when I start to be deterred. Depends on the forecast trend.
If I lived where I grew up (north and west Texas), I suspect my tolerance would be higher.
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Old 01-30-18, 01:03 PM
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On the days that I ride I'll look out the windows and check out how badly the neighbor's flags are whipping about. This little tidbit helps determine if I go out for a ride that day and/or which bike I'll ride that day. On really heavy wind days I'll not ride as I don't enjoy it. On moderate wind days I'll ride my slowest bike and not track speed as there's no sense in it.

Over 15 mph and I'll not ride. I'm an old, tired Fred and can do something else that day, like watch TV and eat cheesy poofs.
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Old 01-30-18, 01:14 PM
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It has to be bad enough for me to feel like I might crash trying to turn, for me to avoid riding due to wind. We get plenty of rain here, so dry days come at a premium. We don't get that much wind, though, and most of it comes in November when it's flooding anyway.
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Old 01-30-18, 01:16 PM
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Old 01-30-18, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dougphoto View Post
I never let the wind stop me, because the ride home with the wind will be so fun. Rain, cold, snow those stop me.
That works as long as you can arrange your rides to take advantage of the wind direction. For me, prevailing wind in the summer is from the southwest and northwest in the winter. About two miles south of me is a large lake, and to the west and north, several miles of city. So most of my riding goes to the east and southeast and more often than not, a headwind on a return leg.
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Old 01-30-18, 01:40 PM
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I'm the stoker on a tandem so I pretty much have to tolerate however much wind the captain dishes out.
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Old 01-30-18, 02:13 PM
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According to the official NWS station, right now the wind is 18 mph with 30 mph gusts.

To be fair, that's slightly higher than normal but also not out of the ordinary. In Kansas if we never biked when it was windy, we'd never bike.

But sometimes I might pick a route that has more shelter from the wind, or go mountain biking instead.
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Old 01-30-18, 02:24 PM
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Years ago our training group, males and females, would watch for a day in the spring when we had a predictable strong wind. We would talk someone into driving us out to an upwind starting point - we had designated routes for this that were north-south or east-west. Then we would do a group ride with the wind. I recall one of our routes had about a 25 mile segment with only one stop sign - so we essentially got to motor pace without having to follow a motorcycle. If you think a tailwind is easy, try going as fast as you can for 45 minutes.
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Old 01-30-18, 02:34 PM
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Wind has been brutal down here in the southeast. I go on bridges over the ocean so I have to be careful as I can get blown into traffic if it's too crazy.Most people here take the day off if the wind is 15mph or more. It's just seriously tough coming right off the water. That being said, Now and then I go for it, and just hammer the tailwind and then gear down and accept what's coming on the way out.
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Old 01-30-18, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RFEngineer View Post
At what point will you cancel your ride because of the wind? 15 mph sustained winds? 20? 30? I've had a couple beautiful days here lately, but the wind has been ridiculous. There's no way I can have an enjoyable time in 20 mph winds.
Alan
This happening in the Denver area? Its been windy but its not been that bad in the Denver area IMO. As long as the wind doesn't swap directions when I turn around keeping the wind in my face the whole way, I don't mind the wind. Knowing I'll get to fly back the other way keeps my spirits up. Gusting side winds where it is calm one second and 20mph the next, I am not a fan of now though with the deep section wheels.
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Old 01-30-18, 02:56 PM
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We draw the line at 20 mph. IMO that's about when it goes from "annoying" to "dangerous".
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Old 01-30-18, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
This happening in the Denver area? Its been windy but its not been that bad in the Denver area IMO. As long as the wind doesn't swap directions when I turn around keeping the wind in my face the whole way, I don't mind the wind. Knowing I'll get to fly back the other way keeps my spirits up. Gusting side winds where it is calm one second and 20mph the next, I am not a fan of now though with the deep section wheels.
I live right by the National Wind Technology Center, https://www.nrel.gov/nwtc/, where they test wind turbines to failure. So yeah, the wind can be bad where I am.

That said, I went out today, and it wasn't that bad.
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Old 01-30-18, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by RFEngineer View Post
At what point will you cancel your ride because of the wind? 15 mph sustained winds? 20? 30? I've had a couple beautiful days here lately, but the wind has been ridiculous. There's no way I can have an enjoyable time in 20 mph winds.
Alan
I don't cancel rides for wind until I think there may be a danger of crashing. But the wind may well determine what route I take or alter the distance.

Ben
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Old 01-30-18, 03:31 PM
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I must have canceled for wind, I just can't remember. I have for rain and wind, but it was the rain that I canceled for. There were also wind storms I would not have ridden in, but at the time, there was no plan to ride anyway.

Looking for a number? 30mph... But I'm just making that up.
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Old 01-30-18, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RFEngineer View Post
I live right by the National Wind Technology Center, https://www.nrel.gov/nwtc/, where they test wind turbines to failure. So yeah, the wind can be bad where I am.

That said, I went out today, and it wasn't that bad.
Cherry Creek State park on Sunday I know there were sections on the flat going into the wind that slowed me down to 9mph from a 16mph average on my gravel bike which included off road sections. That said, heading out to the park was fun.
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Old 01-30-18, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
Cherry Creek State park on Sunday I know there were sections on the flat going into the wind that slowed me down to 9mph from a 16mph average on my gravel bike which included off road sections. That said, heading out to the park was fun.
Yes, Sunday was the real bummer day, when I canceled my weekend ride. Not sure what the wind speed was, but it looked to me like it would blow me off the road, or into traffic.
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Old 01-30-18, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RFEngineer View Post
At what point will you cancel your ride because of the wind? 15 mph sustained winds? 20? 30? I've had a couple beautiful days here lately, but the wind has been ridiculous. There's no way I can have an enjoyable time in 20 mph winds.
Alan
Sometimes you can plan a route that shields you from the headwind and expose you to the tailwind.
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Old 01-30-18, 05:26 PM
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Sunday was Westy to Longmont, back through Hygiene, Niwot and Erie. The wind, other than changing direction on a whim, wasn't really as bad as I've seen. The cars, and people driving them, were worse.
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