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

Headwind while touring

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Headwind while touring

Old 04-12-15, 05:43 AM
  #51  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mobile, AL
Posts: 108

Bikes: 2005 Fuji Touring, '93 Diamondback Outlook, '94 Diamondback Outlook

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do not make reservations for camping or motels, which can be good or bad, but if something deters me during the day (wind) I don't have to make it to a destination. I try not to fight the wind and drop my gears, significantly if the wind is really strong. I check the predicted wind strength on my phone (hourly schedule) to sort of mentally prepare. I get on the road by 5 as it seems to me that the wind doesn't tend to pick up until around 9 AM. I try to get off the road by 12 to 1 to avoid heat and wind. I try not to look at things that are visual indicators of wind strength such as flags standing straight out, tall grass leaning over to the ground, trees whipping in the wind, etc. For me maybe the most frustrating thing about wind is the constant roar in my ears, so I try a little cotton to soften the sound. I stop for rest breaks (only a minute or two) more frequently, maybe every five miles if it is really strong. I stop every 12-15 for a short break even if there is no wind. And, I ride on my drop bars (which I tend to do at all times anyway). Enjoy the moment and don't have your mind on your destination for the day. If your mind is on "there" instead of "here", the wind can be mentally brutal as you will find yourself thinking "it's so far away" and "with this wind I'm never going to make it". My rule of thumb is a lesson I learned while working a summer construction job many years ago while in college. I would start out the day working really fast and energetically and an old guy told me "slow down son, you've got to make it to the end of the day, just find yourself a good rhythm and work it all day".

Last edited by woodysroad; 04-12-15 at 05:48 AM.
woodysroad is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 05:46 AM
  #52  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,887
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1255 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 567 Posts
Originally Posted by BobG
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.
I have never done an ACA type tour so maybe the dynamic is different, but I think starting at different times can be manageable unless the riders want or need to ride together.

I can see where it would be harder to manage with a paid group, but someone is going to be unhappy with the start time regardless of what it is. Some folks are annoyed by having to get going in the morning, but I don't see why the early risers should have to sit around either. If I habitually wake up at 5 AM, I don't see why I should wait around twiddling my thumbs waiting for someone who wants to get started at 10 AM any more than they should have to get up at 5 AM when I do. I personally try to slip out quietly in the morning and expect folks to be fairly quiet in the evening if I turn in way earlier than them. A little courtesy in both groups can make this almost a non-issue. Putting a little distance between where the early and late risers pitch their tents helps in this regard.

As far as shared gear... I think that can be managed as well. If folks want to get going early they should prepack their lunch the night before, carry stuff that doesn't need prep, or plan on buying their lunch. They should forgo cooking breakfast. A granola bar in camp and something else down the road an hour or two later should suffice. The folks who want to sleep in need to be the ones to carry the shared gear that they will need in the morning. If the early risers have to delay or forgo their coffee or buy some of their own indiividual food, or if the late risers have to carry a bit more of the shared gear, so be it.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 05:56 AM
  #53  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Coimbra, Portugal
Posts: 969

Bikes: More bicycles than I can ride at one time: 2 custom made tourers, a Brompton 6-speed, and an Indian-made roadster.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan
were you lost?
Obviously you have not been to Manitoba. Lots of places to stop and "refuel". Lots of places to find a hotel/motel/camp area...
Not much traffic either - except on the "Trans-Canada"
tmac100 is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 06:30 AM
  #54  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 1,016
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 318 Post(s)
Liked 121 Times in 84 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I have never done an ACA type tour so maybe the dynamic is different,
The dynamic is indeed different on the ACA tours and I agree that my group experience does not really apply to the topic of this thread. All of your suggested solutions have been tried. Just my style, but I hate rushing to work in the morning just to beat the wind when I'm on tour, even when going solo!
BobG is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 06:43 AM
  #55  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,887
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1255 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 567 Posts
Originally Posted by BobG
The dynamic is indeed different on the ACA tours and I agree that my group experience does not really apply to the topic of this thread. All of your suggested solutions have been tried. Just my style, but I hate rushing to work in the morning just to beat the wind when I'm on tour, even when going solo!
Yeah, I think that folks are just really different in how they feel about getting going in the morning. I think some of it is habit and some of it is just how we are wired. The phrase "rushing to work in the morning just to beat the wind" wouldn't ever occur to me. I am just awake and ready to go naturally, for me it is no special effort and not rushing to be up early and packed up and riding quickly. For me to do otherwise goes against the grain. I am like a caged animal when I have to hang around in camp waitng for the late risers. When not on tour I am the same way. Most mornings I am up and out for a trail run often driving to and hitting the trail before daylight in my day to day life and I have been that way since I was a kid. It does complicate things when dealing with groups where people of both extremes are involved.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 08:43 AM
  #56  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,247
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked 979 Times in 801 Posts
I really do think it is a wiring thing. For me it's more the opposite, more of a late person and been that way since young. Takes me a bunch of days to get into the earlier routine and I very much need and enjoy a good breakfast and to visit the facilities shall we say....
djb is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 09:47 AM
  #57  
Senior Member
 
robow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,885
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked 290 Times in 200 Posts
Another alternative if you don't want to leave early is to draft one another as in a pace line formation. But that technique is unfortunately fraught with problems since you undoubtedly have some riders that are slower and can't hang on the back and those who won't take a reasonable pull at the front. This is a great technique but you have to have the right talents and personalities involved. Oh and think about buying the lead guy's lunch if he has buried himself most of the morning for the group, or at least acknowledging their efforts verbally will go a long way.
robow is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 12:23 PM
  #58  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
intransit1217's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Kenosha , Wi
Posts: 1,231

Bikes: 2 Masi giramondo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
I wonder how pacelining with panniers works aero-wise.
intransit1217 is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 01:07 PM
  #59  
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,498
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1185 Post(s)
Liked 842 Times in 438 Posts
Originally Posted by intransit1217
I wonder how pacelining with panniers works aero-wise.
It works fine. My wife and I trade off regularly when riding into a headwind for long periods. However, she does not cast a very big wind shadow

Where it gets tough with front panniers is in a quartering cross wind. It acts as a headwind and coming a little from the side more pannier surface area is exposed. Depending on the wind's velocity, even a wind from 90 degrees can have an effect.

The disadvantage of drafting is that it takes concentration and you can't look at the scenery. My last attention lapse while drafting cost me 24 stitches when I touched her rear wheel with my front wheel. The person in the rear is the one who usually goes down.

Last edited by Doug64; 04-12-15 at 01:18 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 01:40 PM
  #60  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,887
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1255 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 567 Posts
Originally Posted by intransit1217
I wonder how pacelining with panniers works aero-wise.
It works very well as Doug64 already mentioned. The only thing is that it gets a bit harder to do with quartering head winds where you need to string out at an angle in an echelon. With quartering winds, close traffic, and a narrow shoulder it gets a bit awkward. Sometimes rumble strip also make it harder to line up with quartering winds.

All that said on my first tour (TA) three of us drafted each other pretty much the whole trip. I found it made a very big difference maybe even more so with panniers. If there is no wind and you ride slow it doesn't make much difference, but with a pace above 15 mph and/or with a headwind it helps quite noticeably.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 01:46 PM
  #61  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,887
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1255 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 567 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64
However, she does not cast a very big wind shadow
Yeah I still find I can draft pretty well behind my daughter who is small, I just need to be extra close (like 1-3' or so) to take full advantage.

BTW, riding behind a low slung trailer is less effective than behind a rider with panniers. I rode the ST with a guy using a BoB and I could get in his draft. It still helped, but not as much.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-12-15, 02:20 PM
  #62  
Senior Member
 
gif4445's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kearney NE
Posts: 600

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Specialized Diverge, Volagi Liscio, LHT, Trek 1.2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by adablduya
suck it up, buttercup. or, another way to put it, HTFU.

you're going to encounter winds. cross, tail, and head. enjoy the tailwinds, and grind thru the headwinds. headwinds can be discouraging, no doubt, when you have them day after day. call these character-building experiences. riding across Wyoming was this for me.....

to echo other comments, keep your schedule as flexible as possible. stay positive.
Wyoming can make you wonder what the heck you are doing. At least it made me hate life for awhile. Cuz there are headwinds and there are HEADWINDS. Actually the worst winds I have encountered were in Idaho, going from Mountain Home to Fairplay. Fighting altitude and a 30 mph headwind. Stupid. Should have stayed put. Nebraska was second with 30+ mph headwinds and 104 degree heat. Blast furnace. My current headwind strategy is to, first of all, take full advantage of tailwinds and get some 100-150 mile days in. Then try to avoid the strong headwinds by studying the hourly and daily forecasts. Riding early or later in the day, avoiding the solar winds. Or just using a rest day. So far, I have had a fixed number of days to ride, so several days of headwinds would require me to the HTFU.
gif4445 is offline  
Old 04-13-15, 10:24 AM
  #63  
Senior Member
 
Yan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,961
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2024 Post(s)
Liked 673 Times in 460 Posts
Flexible, except last May when we were cycling through the Taklamakan desert with no water resupply. We cycled 22 hours on the second day to reach our distance goal (135km). The wind never died for the remainder of the trip and we switch to a night schedule thereafter to avoid the stronger day time wind. Too bad it was too hot to sleep in the tent during the day. Thank god the desert only took five days to cross. We had one water resupply in 600km.

Last edited by Yan; 04-13-15 at 10:40 AM.
Yan is offline  
Old 04-13-15, 10:28 AM
  #64  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by gif4445
Wyoming can make you wonder what the heck you are doing. At least it made me hate life for awhile. Cuz there are headwinds and there are HEADWINDS. Actually the worst winds I have encountered were in Idaho, going from Mountain Home to Fairplay. Fighting altitude and a 30 mph headwind. Stupid. Should have stayed put. Nebraska was second with 30+ mph headwinds and 104 degree heat. Blast furnace. My current headwind strategy is to, first of all, take full advantage of tailwinds and get some 100-150 mile days in. Then try to avoid the strong headwinds by studying the hourly and daily forecasts. Riding early or later in the day, avoiding the solar winds. Or just using a rest day. So far, I have had a fixed number of days to ride, so several days of headwinds would require me to the HTFU.
funny !

i got going early enough in the season on my 2010 cross-country tour to not have any blast furnace days, thankfully. looking back, i remember thinking being from southeast Texas, where it's "windy" all the time, that the purported winds in Wyoming (and along the west-bound Columbia River in Washington/Oregon, another brutal adventure...) would be no big deal. man, was i delusional !!! i remember grinding along at 4-5 mph for hours, day after day, across Wyoming. the demoralizing memories were of pedaling hard on otherwise steep downhills to keep from being blown to a stop. on the day from Lander to Dubois, i remember noting i had 20 miles to go, and at the 4 mph pace i had been able to sustain, it would take 4-5 HOURS to get there. being exposed out in the open, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. THAT was a HTFU moment !!!

in the end, you get to where you're going. knock down a few beers, rest up for the next day, and have stories to tell, just like this. and from the experience, you find that you're tougher person. nothing bad about that.
adablduya is offline  
Old 04-13-15, 12:01 PM
  #65  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,247
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked 979 Times in 801 Posts
Originally Posted by Yan
Flexible, except last May when we were cycling through the Taklamakan desert with no water resupply. We cycled 22 hours on the second day to reach our distance goal (135km). The wind never died for the remainder of the trip and we switch to a night schedule thereafter to avoid the stronger day time wind. Too bad it was too hot to sleep in the tent during the day. Thank god the desert only took five days to cross. We had one water resupply in 600km.
five days, thats pretty daunting, how much water did you have to carry with you per person? Would an estimate of 10l per day per person be over the top? In really hot riding I have tended to need about a bike bottle per hour (ish) so even at 500ml per hour, plus water to make food wouldnt you need at least 6 litres per day minimum? Even if you had 30l thats 30kg, 66lbs of just water, very daunting indeed.
djb is offline  
Old 04-13-15, 05:50 PM
  #66  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 598 Times in 330 Posts
Originally Posted by hilltowner
Turn around. It then becomes a tailwind. Who doesn't like those?
There is that ... if you're not locked into a route or schedule, you can just go wherever the wind blows you.


We sort of do that when we tour anyway ... just go wherever we feel like going.

But I have often thought that I might like to take a month or so and do a "go where the wind blows me" tour. So ... if the wind is coming from the north, I'd cycle south until the wind changed. I'd probably want to select my start location depending on the prevailing winds in whatever country or continent I'm on.

So for example, I might start in Calgary which would give me some room to go west if there were an easterly wind, but knowing that the prevailing wind is a westerly wind, I would anticipate a greater possibility of going eastward across the country.

Last edited by Machka; 04-13-15 at 05:57 PM.
Machka is offline  
Old 04-13-15, 07:27 PM
  #67  
Senior Member
 
Yan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,961
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2024 Post(s)
Liked 673 Times in 460 Posts
Originally Posted by djb
five days, thats pretty daunting, how much water did you have to carry with you per person? Would an estimate of 10l per day per person be over the top? In really hot riding I have tended to need about a bike bottle per hour (ish) so even at 500ml per hour, plus water to make food wouldnt you need at least 6 litres per day minimum? Even if you had 30l thats 30kg, 66lbs of just water, very daunting indeed.
Five days, with one resupply point after the second day, so not as daunting as it sounds. Plus we could always be rescued by passing cars, so it's not like Thesiger's Arabian Sands. The first leg of two days we carried about 18L of water each. The second leg of three days, we had switched to a night schedule to avoid high winds, so needed less water and carried about 18L of water each again. Indeed our front panniers were entirely dedicated to water during the ride.

Yan is offline  
Old 04-13-15, 09:57 PM
  #68  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,247
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked 979 Times in 801 Posts
Thanks for the reply and for putting up some photos. Even 18l is still 18kg, quite some heft to add to the bike. Certainly makes me think that if doing a trip in these sort of conditions and subsequent extra weight, an extra sturdy frame and racks will very much show their robustness. Am on a phone screen now, so will take a proper look at your photos tomorrow on a computer screen
djb is offline  
Old 04-16-15, 09:24 PM
  #69  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,247
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked 979 Times in 801 Posts
neat photos, nice to appreciate them large. The first one looks like a real doozie for sand getting into everything, camera included.
The tent shot, nice balance of light inside tent and ambient.

thanks again for sharing.
djb is offline  
Old 04-16-15, 09:26 PM
  #70  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,247
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked 979 Times in 801 Posts
neat photos, nice to appreciate them large. The first one looks like a real doozie for sand getting into everything, camera included.
The tent shot, nice balance of light inside tent and ambient--did you do a smidge of light painting also, seems there is some sort of source coming from rear right?

thanks again for sharing.
djb is offline  
Old 04-16-15, 09:40 PM
  #71  
Senior Member
 
Yan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,961
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2024 Post(s)
Liked 673 Times in 460 Posts
Yes the tent photo was a 30 second exposure at F/8 (M43), taken at 4am right after we set up the tent (like I said, night schedule). This was late May, so the sky was just getting light. I had the camera balanced on my saddle. The light inside the tent is a candle. I think I waved a flashlight around a bit.
Yan is offline  
Old 04-16-15, 10:05 PM
  #72  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,247
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked 979 Times in 801 Posts
The waving around of the flashlight helped a lot, fleshes the shadows out and gives the tent surface and ground some nice texture and form that wouldn't have been there without it. I remember when doing lightpainting involved lots of polaroids and bracketing when shooting transparencies.

Again, neat shots.
djb is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Jetto245
Touring
3
10-29-16 11:23 AM
mcallaghan
Touring
12
11-18-15 02:18 PM
Blindhog
Touring
23
05-04-13 03:56 AM
spinnaker
Touring
21
04-25-11 06:19 PM
burtonridr
Touring
25
02-06-10 11:49 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.