Cycling on windy days

by londonplayer   October 10, 2011  

Have you ever noticed how when you cycle on a windy day, whatever direction you're heading in, you always feel as if you're cycling into the wind?

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If you can't get your bike to stay on the ground so you can actually get on the thing then you know it's windy! Crying

http://www.cyclingbrussels.be/?p=387

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posted by shollin [51 posts]
1st December 2011 - 18:49

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Geeky stats for y'all:

http://road.cc/sites/default/files/weather stats.JPG

I think these measurements are from Gatwick, so slightly Londoncentric, sorry. Nerd

First eleven months of both years BTW. Trying to be as consistent as possible.

weather stats.JPG
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posted by phy2sll [26 posts]
1st December 2011 - 19:01

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So: warmer, drier and windier.

Also, wind direction was much more focussed this year:

2010
Most frequent wind direction: SW (11%)
2nd most frequent: WSW (10%)

2011
Most frequent wind direction: SW (18%)
2nd most frequent: SSW (14%)

Fascinating stuff, I'm sure you'll agree! Nerd

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posted by phy2sll [26 posts]
1st December 2011 - 19:36

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Huge mistake, took the fixie to work. Head wind for five miles both ways. At one stage the gusts were so strong I was down to 2mph. Llegs are still burning

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posted by giff77 [1038 posts]
1st December 2011 - 21:16

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@giff77, think of it as good training Wink

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posted by shollin [51 posts]
1st December 2011 - 21:46

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I've a theory for this thesis. You are far less aerodynamic on a bike at going into the wind i.e. the position of the torso, head and arms effectively 'scoop' the air and slow you down. But look at a cyclist from behind and its a far more sleeker position (even if I say so myself). Therefore a tailwind just blows over you and doesn't give you that added assistance we all crave.

The answer is to create a sail (which the UCI ban under the 'fairing' rule) or to sit on the bike backwards like a rower would. I can just see Cancellara and Martin's revised TT positions.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [536 posts]
2nd December 2011 - 14:26

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I feel the need to resurrect this posting. Just cycled home from work; I feel like I have been assaulted by an industrial hairdryer. Thats without mentioning the lightning, rain, sleet and hail. I actually quite enjoyed it! No such thing as bad weather; just the wrong clothes! If I say it enough I might believe it myself.

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
13th December 2011 - 11:48

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Strong winds in London terrify me. Feel like I'm going to be swept under a lorry all the time - guess the big rucksack makes me all the more blowable.

I just came up with a theory about winds in your face all the time. Tall buildings funnel the strong winds straight down from above, and when they hit the ground they'll spread out in all directions. So that's why the big gusts come from front, back and sides.

I eagerly await someone to tell me I'm talking nonsense.

posted by bashthebox [619 posts]
13th December 2011 - 15:15

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Wherever I ride I feel like there's a 30 kph headwind.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1332 posts]
13th December 2011 - 16:52

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Went to get my bike to go to work - gone bar two skewers Sad flat mates thought that in light of the 'stronger' winds it was a 'good' idea to hide the bike. They also hid the wheels. The single speed was there though, minus wheels as well I should add.

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posted by giff77 [1038 posts]
13th December 2011 - 21:45

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Raleigh mentioned this thread on another forum; so thought I would resurrect it...again! Somewhat appropriate especially round here; more gale force wind and heavy rain tonight..... Will either get to work in 5 mins or 5 hours!

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
30th December 2012 - 23:17

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OHMIGOD Big Grin

S'been soo windy in Suffolk this entire week.

I normally work hard in headers and recover in tails, but THERE HAVE ONLY BEEN HEADWINDS

Crying

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
30th December 2012 - 23:29

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Amazed that this thread has been resurrected. We need a similar discussion about rain.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
31st December 2012 - 0:48

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londonplayer wrote:
surely you should be able to go much faster when the wind is behind you? but I have never actually experienced this. anybody?

Hell yeah. Took a ride out to Moreton last year, got there in super quick time. When it took twice as long to get home straight into a headwind, I realised why Crying

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7926 posts]
31st December 2012 - 0:57

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
londonplayer wrote:
surely you should be able to go much faster when the wind is behind you? but I have never actually experienced this. anybody?

Hell yeah. Took a ride out to Moreton last year, got there in super quick time. When it took twice as long to get home straight into a headwind, I realised why Crying

went out round the north of Bath yesterday in 'mixed' conditions. got hit by a big shower and associated wind as we were heading east on an exposed flat stretch, got blown along at 50km/h+ for about four miles. it was *ace*

it was quite a lot less ace when we turned for home though Thinking

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7253 posts]
31st December 2012 - 11:12

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The wurrst thing is when you are enjoying an almost tailwind, you're quite close to home and you feel like you've done your work for the day, and then the road you're on turns 90˚. For me its normally quite a shock, as you normally forget about the wind... Sick

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
31st December 2012 - 16:13

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Crosswind got me this morning when on a roundabout. Was pretty hairy. After that a block headwind for 7 miles. Had to resort to the granny ring it was that bad Sad that and sideways rain. Tough morning but the next few days are to be good if accu weather is to be believed.

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posted by giff77 [1038 posts]
31st December 2012 - 18:56

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Just got home Yawn The powers that be could not resist giving me a quick drenching Sad But even though the route is straight (ish) I never have a head or tail wind all the way there or back Thinking I get half way and the wind changes Thinking I think it is because of the wind chaneling down the valleys Thinking Anyway tonight the second (hilly) half was assisted Cool I am pretty chuffed with myself because I have cycled to and from work every day this run of shifts Cool And got wet every day.... Will I see in the new year? Yawn

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
31st December 2012 - 22:28

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Rules 9 & 5!

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posted by andybnk [91 posts]
1st January 2013 - 20:24

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Has been as windy as I can remember this winter...not to do with sprouts either...

Throw in some of the cloud bursts we have been having and despite the milder temperatures it hasn't been the best of riding conditions.

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1221 posts]
2nd January 2013 - 14:57

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Brutal winds in Glasgow today...brought my bike in for the 52k ride home. Wind gusting around 55mph. No chance I'm riding in that.

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posted by davecochrane [89 posts]
16th April 2013 - 16:43

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I'm not crazy?!

Actually, yesterday in the shop I heard two very seasoned cyclists discussing a ride, and caught mention that "for once the wind wasn't against us the whole time."

Truth be told, I've always attributed it to the fact that I'm cycling North and South, and over here wind generally blows West to East, so I just figured I was always somehow angled into it..

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

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posted by badkneestom [127 posts]
16th April 2013 - 17:30

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Really windy the last few days. Stopped in my tracks a few times by the force of the wind.

posted by paulfg42 [372 posts]
16th April 2013 - 22:06

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spent the last few weeks riding the 16miles to work into a head wind and getting blown home, last week the wind has flipped round, so now i am with the wind to work and head wind home.

When i say headwind i mean gale!

Be nice to just have a few days with no wind!

One of the joys of commuting across the vale of evesham is no shelter!!

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posted by mrmo [1030 posts]
17th April 2013 - 12:35

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I was trackstanding at a roundabout yesterday when a particularly big blast of wind started pushing me backwards. I tried to hold it out but I had a brief moment of feeling like my front end was starting to lift and didn't fancy landing arsewards on the car bonnet behind me so I unclipped and got my feet down.

I did notice a fella the other week riding southbound down the A6 in Longsight really struggling against the wind, we both shook our heads at each other in disbelief as I fought against equally vile winds going northbound.

posted by farrell [1306 posts]
17th April 2013 - 12:53

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farrell wrote:
I was trackstanding at a roundabout yesterday when a particularly big blast of wind started pushing me backwards. I tried to hold it out but I had a brief moment of feeling like my front end was starting to lift and didn't fancy landing arsewards on the car bonnet behind me so I unclipped and got my feet down.

I did notice a fella the other week riding southbound down the A6 in Longsight really struggling against the wind, we both shook our heads at each other in disbelief as I fought against equally vile winds going northbound.

Big Grin I was doing the best part of 50kmh (assisted) on Sunday when I had to smile at a girl in racing kit fighting in the opposite direction. Her expression said it all - something like "if I keep this up, can I have a tailwind too?!"

However, I reckon the wind goes something like this. 14mph headwind + 14mph bike speed = effective 28mph wind in your face. (Yes, I have heard of Einstein and relativity, stop nitpicking.) Contrast that with 14mph tailwind and 14mph bike speed = minimal wind force on your back. It might allow easier displacement of the air directly in front of you though, so like me on Sunday, you don't feel a tangible push on your back, but the Strava results say you were flying.

Look on the bright side, I learned much about bike handling in crosswinds recently. I'm off to buy some 80mm deep rims!

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
17th April 2013 - 14:20

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I am glad the wind has swapped around. It might still be blowy one way but at least it is warm. If the wind is from behind and pushing you down a slight incline and you start picking up speed with no wind resistance, going faster and faster; I call this 'Vitesse,' effortless speed. Sadly it is a rare feeling.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1187 posts]
17th April 2013 - 18:20

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davecochrane wrote:
Brutal winds in Glasgow today...brought my bike in for the 52k ride home. Wind gusting around 55mph. No chance I'm riding in that.

ya big jessie. Devil cycled home via Inchinnan and Glasgow Airport to get home. A few hairy moments but I made it. 10 miles of a block headwind on 80 inch fixed and I made it - just. Thighs still burning. I reckon rule #9 applies in this case Big Grin

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posted by giff77 [1038 posts]
17th April 2013 - 19:33

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Just done 32 mile today in northumberland, v windy, and a result to stay on bike n get round in one piece

posted by issacforce [203 posts]
18th April 2013 - 14:04

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I used to get properly worked up commuting home into a headwind, which it invariably was, until I realised that mother nature ain't gonna change so I just have to get my head down (pun intended) and grind it out.

Now I prefer headwinds to crosswinds, they're worse, especially when you're north of 20mph and you go past a gateway to an open field!

posted by cojones [13 posts]
24th April 2013 - 20:17

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