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what are your favorite conditions?

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what are your favorite conditions?

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Old 02-11-19, 11:38 AM
  #26  
ksryder
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@Jim from Boston , where do you get wind speed and direction? I haven't found an accurate web site. Maybe it's hard to do here, as the wind speed and direction varies from one spot to another because of how the terrain shapes the wind. There are some spots that normally have wind in reverse direction at almost all times, so I'm observing eddies.
I'm not Jim but in Kansas we have to be very aware of the wind and we usually decide where to ride based on having a tailwind on the way home.

I use several weather apps, all with various strengths:

Wunderground: best current conditions, especially for wind. Current conditions come from user-generated personal weather stations and you can get a pretty good idea of literally which way the wind is blowing, especially with the map view.

WeatherBug: I tend to like the user interface the best with this one, and I find the hourly forecast is generally the most accurate for localized conditions. I also like the radar and storm tracking map interface the best, plus the lightning tracker is pretty convenient during the spring and summer thunderstorms. (I don't mind riding in bad weather but lightning is nothing to mess around with.)

1weather: frankly it's my least-used app but they do have a 12-week extended forecast that I keep it around for, plus I paid for the app way back in the day when it first started so I figure I might as well keep it. The 12-week forecast is laughably vague and I probably don't actually get any use out of it but I check it anyway when I'm planning future races based on some sort of misguided optimism.

Storm Radar: this used to be a good app and then it got bought by the weather channel and now it kind of sucks, but it is one of the few apps that has a "future radar" option so I check that sometimes.

Windy: As the name implies, one of the best for wind conditions. But also has a TON of data options and overlays and if you like nerding out on minutia this is a pretty good app. Also you can get forecast data from 4 different weather models so you can pick the one you think is most accurate, or look at all 4 and try to figure out which one will be right. One of my favorites right now.

Most of these also have website versions. The Windy.com website is pretty good.
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Old 02-11-19, 04:14 PM
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@ksryder , thank you. I still want to hear from someone in terrain like mine. Boston and New York are coastal cities. The skyscrapers both cities have and the tall, shear cliffs NYC has create serious and strong eddies, You can round the corner of a building and be blasted over by wind coming from another direction than you were just feeling. It makes accurate sampling tricky, and I guess it makes sampling a little less useful. A lot is left to unpredictable luck. I've been blasted I almost got knocked sideways into traffic. I imagine winds are stronger and steadier in Kansas. I've heard about your strong winds, but I believe your landscape is less faceted.
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Old 02-11-19, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@Jim from Boston , where do you get wind speed and direction? I haven't found an accurate web site.

Maybe it's hard to do here, as the wind speed and direction varies from one spot to another because of how the terrain shapes the wind. There are some spots that normally have wind in reverse direction at almost all times, so I'm observing eddies.
Since I commute in a relatively straight Southwest direction, if the wind direction seems constant along the route, I record the speed from Weather.com at the beginning of the ride.


More relevant to me is my 1 – 6 scale:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
On my Excell spreadsheet I track:...

Wind speed and direction: Either as recorded on a weather station, or on a personal 1 to 6 scale (headwind / tailwind) based on flying flags; to explain variations in average speed......
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Here in Boston, wind speeds of 4 of 6 on my scale are rare, less than once a year, and gusts do have the force to push me laterally. I don't conscientiously think about falling tree limbs, but such usually occur with rainstorms that dissuade riding.

It's useful to assess wind speed and direction because on good and bad riding days, sometimes it's hard to know if it's me and my energy levels or the wind that's responsible.

My most dangerous wind riding was along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, with gusts that vigorously pushed us laterally to the left; about a 5 of 6, graded retrospectively.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My idea of a 1 to 6 scale of wind phenomena (waving flags) to guage wind force (speed) is based on the formalized Beaufort Wind Force Scale.

The Beaufort scale is from 1 (calm) to 12 (hurricane force) and the determination of the scale number is based on defined observations of phenomena such as rising smoke; papers, dust and debris on the ground; wave heights; flags; umbrellas unfurling, etc
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The Beaufort scale is an empirical measure that relates windspeed to observed conditions at sea or on land. Its full name is the Beaufort wind force scale

Today, many countries have abandoned the scale and use the metric system based units, m/s or km/h, instead,but the severe weather warnings given to the public are still approximately the same as when using the Beaufort scale.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
On review of the Beaufort scale descriptions, I would estimate my determination of 4 of 6 equivalent to the Beaufort number of about 5 of 13 (“fresh breeze” ;wind speed of 19-24 mph/29-38 km/hr).

One standard for assessing wind speed with a weather vane or flag, is that it should be unobstructed, and about 20 feet above ground. I make my determination on flags of at least a few feet in length.

The Beaufort number of 3 (“gentle breeze,” 8-12 mph) is identified when “Leaves and small twigs in constant motion; light flags extended.”


My personal 1 to 6 scale is a handy way to make that assessment en route. BTW, I have found a semi-quantitative scale of 1 to 6 a pretty suitable estimation for wind speed; I also use such a scale to evaluate my levels of dress by temperature increments.


I picked it up on a whitewater rafting trip when I learned the difficulty of rivers is determined as 1 to 6.

Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
Jim's 1-6 scale reminded me of the Beaufort scale, which goes to 12 (for hurricanes) - and I suspect the numbers are fairly close, seeing how a 6 on the Beaufort scale is a "strong breeze" of 25-31 mph.

It isn't until you get to an 8 or a gale that twigs get snapped off and progress gets generally impeded.

I always liked the description of 5 on the Beaufort scale: Fresh Breeze. Sounds nice, but at 19-24 mph, above most cyclists' comfort range.

Seems like many cyclists start to be dissuaded when there's anything more than a Gentle Breeze.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-11-19 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:16 PM
  #29  
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Any day with dry air and sun is great, so long as it's a reasonable temperature (like above 5F). I like the dry fall days before the ground is sludgy; I also like roads with hard-packed snow rather than a sludgy or rutted mess. 25F, sunny, and dry is amazing.

When it's not unspeakably cold, it's the gloom that kills my motivation. Which is unfortunate, since many of my favorite cities/places I'd live if I could choose happen to be gloomy.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:42 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
[MENTION=373854]I still want to hear from someone in terrain like mine. Boston and New York are coastal cities. The skyscrapers both cities have and the tall, shear cliffs NYC has create serious and strong eddies, You can round the corner of a building and be blasted over by wind coming from another direction than you were just feeling. It makes accurate sampling tricky, and I guess it makes sampling a little less useful.
I don't think the coast has as much to do with your "serious and strong eddies" as the skyscrapers. Downtown Chicago and Atlanta have similar effects. Many years back I was looking at some plume analysis in urban areas. The best conclusion I could find was along the line that local block-level winds depended on wind direction and speed near the tall buildings in unpredictable ways.

It was fascinating, though. Some of the examples were city streets, comparing wind speed and direction to a local airport. Calm was the only easy correlation: calm wind at the airport meant calm winds downtown. Choose a random wind direction at the airport, and local downtown direction could completely reverse between 10 mph and 12 mph at the airport.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:00 AM
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Thank you for the insight, @pdlamb .
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Old 02-12-19, 12:08 PM
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We've got grain silos. I don't observe them having much noticeable impact on the wind direction, however.
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Old 02-12-19, 12:39 PM
  #33  
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My ideal winter ride would be above freezing, still air, dry road or trail, sunny. If the roads are dry, I try to get out at lunchtime for a 30 minute ride just to keep my sanity, so I don't need the other qualifiers. I'm coming around to thinking my all-time fave conditions would be 50 to 60, sunny, light breeze.
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Old 02-12-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
My ideal winter ride would be above freezing, still air, dry road or trail, sunny. If the roads are dry, I try to get out at lunchtime for a 30 minute ride just to keep my sanity, so I don't need the other qualifiers. I'm coming around to thinking my all-time fave conditions would be 50 to 60, sunny, light breeze.
I just wanted to say, Altair4, I'm not sure we met yet, but I just wanted to say hi.

Altair 4...Is that out of that movie "Forbidden Planet?" I had a B-movie fest last summer and I watched it. I liked it
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Old 02-13-19, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
I just wanted to say, Altair4, I'm not sure we met yet, but I just wanted to say hi.

Altair 4...Is that out of that movie "Forbidden Planet?" I had a B-movie fest last summer and I watched it. I liked it
Hey, Parkbrav! Actually, my handle references 2 things - 1st, as you noted, "The Forbidden Planet" and 2nd, from Stephen King's novel, "The Tommyknockers."
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Old 02-13-19, 10:35 AM
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If I commute, I like sunny and clear weathers because I hate being wet at school.

In recreational rides, I like rain because if it rains, a few people will be at seaside parks, so I'll feel like I own the parks.
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Old 02-21-19, 03:59 PM
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Sunny and cold weather makes me feel happy, when snow is shining
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Old 02-23-19, 05:46 PM
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what are your favorite conditions?

Warm & Naked in a Natural Hot Springs Pool..
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