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Tips for Solo Riding?

Old 04-18-13, 10:29 AM
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pjdizzy
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Tips for Solo Riding?

So I've been riding strictly on my lunch break at work, (goal of 20 miles in an hour), doing fairly well but struggling with the head wind. What are some tips for solo riding when in heavy head winds?

https://app.strava.com/activities/49303859

In the route above, the wind typically comes from the north west, yesterday it felt like 15 sustained, with gusts in the mid 20's

I'm dropping on my bars as low as I can, and making sure my top is zipped up. Anything else?
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Old 04-18-13, 10:35 AM
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Ignore your speed and just hammer into the wind.
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Old 04-18-13, 10:36 AM
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Make sure nothing's flapping. Drop your head a bit. It's easier to perceive the aerodynamic effects of position adjustments while playing on long gradual downhills. See what works.

Clip on aero bars could help if you want to adjust into a TT position.
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Old 04-18-13, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferrous Bueller View Post
Make sure nothing's flapping. Drop your head a bit. It's easier to perceive the aerodynamic effects of position adjustments while playing on long gradual downhills. See what works.

Clip on aero bars could help if you want to adjust into a TT position.
My jersey is flapping a little bit on the sides.... maybe time for a smaller one!
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Old 04-18-13, 10:40 AM
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If nothing else works, try pedalling harder.
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Old 04-18-13, 10:42 AM
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Knees in, elbows in, back straight. Ignore the wind. Pedal just like you would if there were no wind, keeping cadence and effort about the same. IOW gear down. You might drop the cadence a little, for instance if you normally ride at 90, cut back to 85. If it's gusty, try to hold your cadence through the gusts, keep cadence rather than effort steady. A lot of it is a head game.

When you turn downwind, do the same thing. Keep the effort up and your usual cadence. Ignore the speed except for braking distance. Your average will always be less on a windy day, though.
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Old 04-18-13, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Knees in, elbows in, back straight. Ignore the wind. Pedal just like you would if there were no wind, keeping cadence and effort about the same. IOW gear down. You might drop the cadence a little, for instance if you normally ride at 90, cut back to 85. If it's gusty, try to hold your cadence through the gusts, keep cadence rather than effort steady. A lot of it is a head game.

When you turn downwind, do the same thing. Keep the effort up and your usual cadence. Ignore the speed except for braking distance. Your average will always be less on a windy day, though.
I've just recently been paying attention to the position of my knees (new rider), and that has made a huge difference it feels like! Thanks for the tip on the elbows too, trying too keep a small profile with everything tucked in makes sense. It's hard to not go all out when i turn downwind, feels like I have a lot to make up for. Probably better to make a stronger effort in the headwind and just use the downwind to lower my HR while still keeping a good cadence.
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Old 04-18-13, 10:47 AM
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foam ear plugs - cuts the winds noise, but you can still hear traffic well enough
you're not gonna go any faster, but you're not gonna feel as wooped at the end of the ride...
it's all about the sufferin...
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Old 04-18-13, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
foam ear plugs - cuts the winds noise, but you can still hear traffic well enough
you're not gonna go any faster, but you're not gonna feel as wooped at the end of the ride...
it's all about the sufferin...
I like to switch to Van Morrision on Pandora when suffering upwind....
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Old 04-18-13, 10:52 AM
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I live in a place where the wind is 25 mph+ at least 3 days a week, and 10+ the rest of the days. If you want to ride a bike here, you are going to ride in the wind, period. Here's what I do to put up with it.

1. If at all possible, plan the first half of your ride to be into the wind, and come back with a tail wind. This lets you do the hard work when you are fresh, and you get the mental benefit of sometimes averaging 25-30 mph on the way back home. You can still work just as hard with a tailwind, you just go faster.

2. Spin. Get your cadence up to 85-95 and just grit it out. Trying to push big gears into the wind is both counter productive and mentally draining.

3. Think about rule 9. When you meet cars on the road and the driver has that "What a dumbass" look on his face let that be a source of pride, not embarrassment.

Most experienced riders will tell you that wind and hills are 90% mental. Wind more so because there's not usually a "downhill." Just concentrate on what a badass you are when that 30 mph gust hits, and remember that no one said this cycling thing was going to be fun.
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Old 04-18-13, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by pjdizzy View Post
My jersey is flapping a little bit on the sides.... maybe time for a smaller one!
Race fit jersey/shorts and ride in the drops 100%.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kv501 View Post
I live in a place where the wind is 25 mph+ at least 3 days a week, and 10+ the rest of the days. If you want to ride a bike here, you are going to ride in the wind, period. Here's what I do to put up with it.

1. If at all possible, plan the first half of your ride to be into the wind, and come back with a tail wind. This lets you do the hard work when you are fresh, and you get the mental benefit of sometimes averaging 25-30 mph on the way back home. You can still work just as hard with a tailwind, you just go faster.

2. Spin. Get your cadence up to 85-95 and just grit it out. Trying to push big gears into the wind is both counter productive and mentally draining.

3. Think about rule 9. When you meet cars on the road and the driver has that "What a dumbass" look on his face let that be a source of pride, not embarrassment.

Most experienced riders will tell you that wind and hills are 90% mental. Wind more so because there's not usually a "downhill." Just concentrate on what a badass you are when that 30 mph gust hits, and remember that no one said this cycling thing was going to be fun.
Great input, thank you!

Mental for sure.... the looks runners give me is saddening at times! The trail I ride on my lunch break is almost always 10+, but it's usually just a cross wind. Every now and again, I get the nasty headwind.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kv501 View Post
I live in a place where the wind is 25 mph+ at least 3 days a week, and 10+ the rest of the days. If you want to ride a bike here, you are going to ride in the wind, period. Here's what I do to put up with it.

1. If at all possible, plan the first half of your ride to be into the wind, and come back with a tail wind. This lets you do the hard work when you are fresh, and you get the mental benefit of sometimes averaging 25-30 mph on the way back home. You can still work just as hard with a tailwind, you just go faster.

2. Spin. Get your cadence up to 85-95 and just grit it out. Trying to push big gears into the wind is both counter productive and mentally draining.

3. Think about rule 9. When you meet cars on the road and the driver has that "What a dumbass" look on his face let that be a source of pride, not embarrassment.

Most experienced riders will tell you that wind and hills are 90% mental. Wind more so because there's not usually a "downhill." Just concentrate on what a badass you are when that 30 mph gust hits, and remember that no one said this cycling thing was going to be fun.
I can attest to your wind after racing in the Twin Bing Classic in Climbing Hill Iowa last Sunday. I opted to use my shallow aluminum clinchers in favor of deep dish carbon due to the winds.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by pjdizzy View Post
My jersey is flapping a little bit on the sides.... maybe time for a smaller one!
In warm weather, jerseys are just a lot of unnecessary weight. Fluorescent yellow spray paint will do the trick.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by danmc View Post
In warm weather, jerseys are just a lot of unnecessary weight. Fluorescent yellow spray paint will do the trick.
Maybe when I hit my target weight
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Old 04-18-13, 11:28 AM
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I only ride solo and mostly way out in the sticks with lots of wind. In fact today seems like it will be like that, at lunchtime the gusts were pretty strong. It's not fun, but I'd rather be riding in the wind than sitting on the couch watching TV. I like the suggestion about planning to go out in the head wind, and come back in the tail wind. That's kinda how I approach kayaking also. Of course, much easier said than done!
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Old 04-18-13, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kv501 View Post
I live in a place where the wind is 25 mph+ at least 3 days a week, and 10+ the rest of the days. If you want to ride a bike here, you are going to ride in the wind, period. Here's what I do to put up with it.

1. If at all possible, plan the first half of your ride to be into the wind, and come back with a tail wind. This lets you do the hard work when you are fresh, and you get the mental benefit of sometimes averaging 25-30 mph on the way back home. You can still work just as hard with a tailwind, you just go faster.

2. Spin. Get your cadence up to 85-95 and just grit it out. Trying to push big gears into the wind is both counter productive and mentally draining.

3. Think about rule 9. When you meet cars on the road and the driver has that "What a dumbass" look on his face let that be a source of pride, not embarrassment.

Most experienced riders will tell you that wind and hills are 90% mental. Wind more so because there's not usually a "downhill." Just concentrate on what a badass you are when that 30 mph gust hits, and remember that no one said this cycling thing was going to be fun.
This cycling thing was going to be fun. There, it'd been said.

OP- Just embrace the wind. Think of yourself being in a wind tunel and work on your aero position for free.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by danmc View Post
I only ride solo and mostly way out in the sticks with lots of wind. In fact today seems like it will be like that, at lunchtime the gusts were pretty strong. It's not fun, but I'd rather be riding in the wind than sitting on the couch watching TV. I like the suggestion about planning to go out in the head wind, and come back in the tail wind. That's kinda how I approach kayaking also. Of course, much easier said than done!
Agreed! I'd just be sitting at my desk eating lunch and browsing the internet.... so riding is a much preferred option!
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Old 04-18-13, 11:37 AM
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reducing your profile helps as others have said. in windy conditions i bring my hands to the center of the bar and tuck my elbows in. i find this more comfy then slogging it out in the drops.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
This cycling thing was going to be fun. There, it'd been said.

OP- Just embrace the wind. Think of yourself being in a wind tunel and work on your aero position for free.
The only thing that would be less fun than riding on a trainer would be riding on a trainer in a wind tunnel.
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Old 04-18-13, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
reducing your profile helps as others have said. in windy conditions i bring my hands to the center of the bar and tuck my elbows in. i find this more comfy then slogging it out in the drops.
Interesting! I'll have to try that (in about an hour an 15 min)!
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Old 04-18-13, 11:53 AM
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What do you guys think is more aerodynamic?

- Hands on the hoods but elbows bent and tucked in (Praying Mantis position)
- Hands in drops with elbows straight and tucked in

And assuming that head is in the same position for both.
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Old 04-18-13, 12:02 PM
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These tips are very timely. I plan on riding after work and the wind is now gusting at 30mph.
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Old 04-18-13, 12:10 PM
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When the pedal comes up, you push it back down.
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Old 04-18-13, 12:11 PM
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My best tip for solo riding is to do it by yourself.
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