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Headwind while touring

Old 04-07-15, 04:55 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan
were you lost?
Some days, I felt like it!
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Old 04-07-15, 05:39 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan
winds? i take 'em as the come. and weather is fickle, so i avoid schedules when i'm on tour.
Bingo! That is my approach as well.

In my experience waiting a day isn't that great of an answer since I have had weeks of headwinds at times.
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Old 04-07-15, 06:01 AM
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Yes, 50-60 mpd is what I have in mind. I'm practicing 3-4 on 1 off currently and can do about 30-35 per ride. I think I can go longer but the wife is mostly immobile so that limits my time expenditure. And I'm still tweaking the fitment bugaboos.
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Old 04-07-15, 11:34 AM
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When I was younger and less experienced, I decided to ride the Oregon Coast south to north. I would have jumped inland after a couple of days of stiff headwinds, but it was in the high 90's in the Valley. I opted for the wind over the heat, and completed my loop. It was an enlightening experience, but it did not build much character

We've all been in situations where you are pedalling hard to go 8 mph downhill. Those are the character building days!
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Old 04-07-15, 11:57 AM
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Machka has done the PBP, so if she says 50-60, I would listen to that. I always do a lot more than that, but I ride solo, and choose only the most optimal weather periods, and try for easyish routes. I was even so in the St Lawrence in 05 and got winds so high that with 250 pounds on the pedal, and in lowest gear the bike was standing still. And then you are doing every stroke from a standing track start sorta, which doesn't help. I was OK with calling it a day and camping out, but I was going through, I think, potato fields and there was nowhere to hide. Just at it's worst, a motel came into view, and I bailed.

The interesting thing about touring is that you can't generalize.
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Old 04-07-15, 01:18 PM
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Wind Map

Use this and plan accordingly.
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Old 04-07-15, 03:36 PM
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If you need to keep a schedule (rare for me) it helps to not plan a real direct route. Then when you slip, you can go more direct, ride longer, less sightseeing. A combination of all that means that overall it's not a lot harder.

I'm on a schedule maybe 15% of the time. The rest of the time, I work on a general idea of where I'll be tonight shortly before breaking camp in the morning. Then I firm that up maybe after lunch. Or sometimes I just wait till it's getting late and I'm thinking "I'll find something in the woods in the next hour or so". It all depends on what kind of area you're in. That tells you how much planning ahead you might need. And how fat your wallet is feeling. You can whip out a good solution with money, often anyway - particularly when camping opportunities are scarce.
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Old 04-07-15, 03:44 PM
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It's just wind. I just keep riding and don't even bother to think about it.

If it were rain or snow or something I might change up my approach, but if its just wind then **** it.
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Old 04-07-15, 09:37 PM
  #34  
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Leave early, quit early.

The problem is not that you're only making 6 mph. The problem is that if you stop pedaling, you stop moving. That'll wear you out real quick. Makes you realize how much coasting a touring cyclists actually does.

On one tour, I took to stopping for a rest at every mile marker. When I finally reached Broadus, WY, I stumbled into a motel. Camping was the original plan. In DV, the 25-30 mph headwind didn't let up for 2 days. I spent 2 days longer than planned there.

Yeah, try to avoid too much scheduling, or as advised earlier, hitch.
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Old 04-07-15, 10:36 PM
  #35  
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We put in more rest days than we think we'll need. They come in handy. We ride in the rain when we have to, but that's not our first choice either.

Headwinds happen. We plan for them by planning to be aero. No front panniers. Drop bars, road position. Plenty of time spent low before tour. No panniers at all would be better.
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Old 04-08-15, 04:21 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff
It's just wind. I just keep riding and don't even bother to think about it.
I too generally just keep riding, but have a hard time imagining anyone "not even bothering to think about" some of the conditions you are likely to experience if you tour much in places like Wyoming, Kansas, parts of the Sierras, or other places in the West and the Great Plains.
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Old 04-08-15, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
Leave early, quit early.
That can make a huge difference in many cases. How important it is varies with how windy of a place you are touring in. Most of the really windy places I have toured the wind is typically lighter early and kicks up in the early afternoon. Starting very early, maybe even riding an hour or two before daylight, you can often get your mileage in before the wind is really howling.

Often the wind will die down again in the evening and some folks put in some more miles then after taking a break for the afternoon. Sometimes I do that too, but I usually just get my miles in early and quit for the day early. I am a very early riser and tend to break camp very quickly in the morning, so getting the mileage in early comes naturally.

If the weather is hot, that approach also lets you miss the worst heat of the day.
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Old 04-08-15, 06:20 AM
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The early approach would very likely work. Also, just adding into the plan a few extra days. And be as aero as possible.
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Old 04-08-15, 06:31 AM
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My rule is to try and stay flexible on tours. So the decision rests with you and a quick review of all your options. Factors include those below, which are by way of example.

How important is the schedule, ie. do you have fixed reservations or a time table that has o be met, like a ferry that doesn't run daily?

Do you have a "soft" day coming up with an easier ride, which can be used to get back on track (I try to plan soft days every 6 or 7 for things like laundry, and/or rest and recovery).

What's the destination, friend's house? hotel, camping? etc.

Do the next days include a long stretch that has to be taken in one hop, ie. no towns for 80 miles?

If you give up today, what is there to see and do where you are?

As I said, those are for starters, but the key is that you're there to have fun. So if the wind is taking the fun out of it, top and consider all your options and make an adjustment of some kind unless there are important reasons that you can't.
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Old 04-08-15, 07:34 AM
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My Top 10 Reasons 3 Days of Icy Unrelenting Headwinds is a Good thing! list

Just for fun...
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Old 04-08-15, 06:16 PM
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When my buddy and I rode along Kluane Lake in south western Yukon, even with taking turns
drafting, we could only go about 5-8 miles an hour all afternoon. We started very early every
morning and were able to put in more miles in 3 hours than we could all afternoon.
By 9-10:00am the wind was back up to near gale force again.
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Old 04-08-15, 06:43 PM
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Turn around. It then becomes a tailwind. Who doesn't like those?
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Old 04-08-15, 09:13 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Sangre
I liked that, thanks
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Old 04-09-15, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer
Don't leave home with a schedule. (if that is possible)
Most sensible answer offered.
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Old 04-09-15, 03:32 PM
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Head winds and climbing mountain passes on tour always seem to require the same effort to me. Only the head winds lack a downhill reward (unless you turn around).

Attitude is everything as you pedal. Winds are just another natural event to manage like rain, cold or heat.

As noted flexibility of schedule or no schedule works best. Rigidity leads to brittleness and breakage of mind and/or body.
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Old 04-11-15, 11:53 AM
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My solution if you know it's coming (brutal all day headwinds) is get up and be riding 1/2 hour before sunrise, since in most cases wind picks up as the air begins to warm. You can often get the majority of your riding in by mid morning and take it easy at that point, and btw, this is how I like to handle extreme heat as well.
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Old 04-11-15, 05:51 PM
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before the tour, look at the wind patterns and plan your route according to the predicted wind pattern for that time of year and the places you'll be going to.

there's a reason why southern tier is predominately west-> east and pacific coast is predominately north->south. wind is one of them
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Old 04-11-15, 05:54 PM
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again today I thought of this thread as I rode on a commute. Been a couple of days of 40, 50, 60kph winds (25 to 40 for you Imperialists) and as I have been plugging along in my 32t midring in the 16, 18,21,24 and even 28t at the back, I realized that not only was I riding with only one pannier, but the rides were no longer than 50 mins---throw on three more bags and a handlebar bag that will all catch a lot more wind and you can really see how all the suggestions of setting realistic goals for the day and trying to start early are certainly good one.
I personally am not a great morning person, and havent ever had to start before sunrise due to wind, but can really see how it would be the best way to go for headwinds as well as crippling heat.

for me the main thing is to just figure 50 or 60 or whatever kms for the day, because all depending on the winds and whatnot, doing way more than is feasible really takes it out of you for the next day.
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Old 04-11-15, 06:18 PM
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or just hitchhike/train hop/ride the bus. only one of those is legal, but who cares. headwind turns your adventure into a bad dream. it doesn't build character, only anger and dismay. I'd avoid it if I could help it
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Old 04-12-15, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
Leave early, quit early
Originally Posted by robow
My solution if you know it's coming (brutal all day headwinds) is get up and be riding 1/2 hour before sunrise
The "hurry up in the morning to get going to beat the heat and wind" attitude took a lot of enjoyment out of the last group ACA tour that I led in 2009. On my first tour in 1994 with a younger group I'd be the first up at 7AM and I'd have to make noise with the stove to get the others going. With the older group I had in 2009, 4 or 5 members would be up at 5AM to "beat the heat and wind" and this pattern soon spread to the rest of us out of necessity because of our shared group gear. Every morning was a clatter of tent poles and crinkle of ground sheets being packed up in the dark. I recall several group members actually running between their bike packing location and the lunch prep table, woofing down a bowl of cereal while rushing between the two. I felt that every morning was a hurry to the office in an attempt to beat the morning traffic. I couldn't even enjoy a morning cup of coffee at camp before being pressed into duty. The 93 days of tension caused me to loose my temper a couple of times with group members. (apologies if any of you are in the BF audience). I've since retired from leading ACA tours.

To summarize, starting before dawn is my LEAST favorite way of dealing with the inevitable wind which, despite all efforts, will still hit you sometime later in the day.
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