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What’s too windy to ride?

Old 01-11-20, 02:47 PM
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biketampa
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What’s too windy to ride?

Wondering what people’s threshold is for skipping a ride due to wind?

I had 3 hour gravel ride scheduled for today but with winds forecasted as 15-25+mph with gusts up to 40+mph I figured it’d be wise to push it off until tomorrow. Sure I probably could have pushed through but I’m guessing it would have been a bit of a sufferfest.
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Old 01-11-20, 02:52 PM
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Depends, Tailwind or headwind. But yeah, wind sucks, hills end, but wind doesn't
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Old 01-11-20, 04:00 PM
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When it stops you and makes you fall. It happened once to me on a climb in the Big Horns , Wyoming.
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Old 01-11-20, 04:02 PM
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Crosswinds are the worse for me. Headwinds are preferred over crosswinds. I just accept headwinds are similar to riding up a hill. No big deal. Crosswinds have the potential to cause havoc with staying in a lane. That's a bit scary to deal with.
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Old 01-11-20, 04:16 PM
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My rides are too short to matter much. Where are you? The wind is just howling here too and I'm debating about my ride tonight. There is ice..... So far highest gust today was 51mph reported. Not sure where that is in comparison to me but limbs are down in my yard. I still want to go tonight, but I'm not sure... I may see how sure footed I feel. But man is it windy.
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Old 01-11-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 3S1M View Post
My rides are too short to matter much. Where are you? The wind is just howling here too and I'm debating about my ride tonight. There is ice..... So far highest gust today was 51mph reported. Not sure where that is in comparison to me but limbs are down in my yard. I still want to go tonight, but I'm not sure... I may see how sure footed I feel. But man is it windy.
atlanta. But east coast has a lot of stuff going on today. And afternoon they added a tornado watch. temps were good today but too much wind for a long-ish ride that can be done tomorrow.
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Old 01-11-20, 04:30 PM
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Me too. I can manage with rain, cold, heat, etc. But never ending tough wind is demoralizing.
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Old 01-11-20, 04:34 PM
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Fortunately this was for a gravel ride so pretty much no traffic. But I’ve had a few times on this route where it’s windy and I got knocked around. And I probably would have been dealing with a lot of downed limbs. Tomorrow looks calm but I’ll probably be riding through a bunch of downed limbs.
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Old 01-11-20, 05:43 PM
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Cut my ride short because of 15-20 mph winds this morning. Got tired of fighting it and turned right and came home. Seems no matter which way I go, the wind is in my face. Get tired of fighting it.
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Old 01-11-20, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by biketampa View Post
Wondering what people’s threshold is for skipping a ride due to wind?

I had 3 hour gravel ride scheduled for today but with winds forecasted as 15-25+mph with gusts up to 40+mph I figured it’d be wise to push it off until tomorrow. Sure I probably could have pushed through but I’m guessing it would have been a bit of a sufferfest.
These conditions would postpone my ride as well. No fun in those numbers.
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Old 01-11-20, 06:09 PM
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Yeah. I try to make sure I’m not being a big baby but I just figured I’d be miserable out there fighting the wind for 3 hours. Granted I’ve had other rides where i sort of do a mental challenge day going out in the cold or rainy conditions. But today I think would have been brutal and no fun.
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Old 01-11-20, 06:20 PM
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15 to 20 steady today for the most part ok but cross winds can be nasty w gusts or coming out of tree line or berms. Lucky riding country roads so less issue dodging traffic
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Old 01-11-20, 08:03 PM
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I actually don't pay attention to wind speed on a forecast. I just go ride and if it is windy, I cry about it ha ha! Actually I love riding in the wind.

Santa Ana winds around here get up to 60 mph gusts and steady 30 and 40's iirc. I have literally seen guys on the side of the road in tears.

One ride up a local mtn road with forum members, 45 mph gusts, 5,000 ft elevation gain in 20 miles. Dude let his had go to zip up his windbreaker. Just then a gust blew him over, knocked out cold and fractured ribs and shoulder. So I don't ride on big climbs with big winds any longer.

But riding in the wind is cool and I enjoy it. I did a century on a tandem a few years back in cow country. Had to be 60 gusts and constant wind. Dirt, sand, hay flying everywhere. Many riders quit in the middle of the ride. I say ride through it. It actually only affected us from mile 20 to 40 maybe. But so many cyclists quit and missed the best part of the century.
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Old 01-11-20, 08:14 PM
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I'm almost strictly a pavement rider, so a question for people who ride both roads and gravel-- do you have different weather thresholds for each?
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Old 01-11-20, 08:31 PM
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temps under 45F with 17mph or faster winds, passssssss.
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Old 01-11-20, 08:36 PM
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LOL! I considered starting this same thread today. I'm on the east coast of Florida, and it was pretty windy here today with it coming out of the SE at 15-25mph. My Saturday group ride always travels north, then returns south to the starting point. Last week I got dropped as soon as the return ride started, so I went solo today, heading south to Jupiter. It was a slow 11.8mph average going, but coming back was fun! To answer your question, consistent 30mph will prevent me from riding. I have cycled in all of the sides streets in my neighborhood just before hurricanes have hit us. I'm too scared to travel too far when that happens. Last year Jim Cantore rented a home a few blocks from my house just before Hurricane Dorian.

I have a theory. There are headwinds and crosswinds, but no tailwinds... it's just me improving.
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Old 01-11-20, 10:11 PM
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For me, when the wind is steady 20 mph and higher gusts, I may ride, but it will be in a sheltered area such as my neighborhood. Even that can be sketchy, a lot of trees, many older ones, and limbs and branches come down. When it is steady 25 mph or higher, I am passing on riding outside. I have been blown off the road a few times, and also have had to put a foot down to stay upright. Not doing that anymore. High crosswinds can be flat out dangerous.
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Old 01-11-20, 10:16 PM
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Old 01-11-20, 10:37 PM
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Maybe 20 mph steady, gusts to 30 mph. Above that I worry more about debris and reckless vehicles than my own bike handling. We've had 15-20 mph steady wind with gusts to 30+ mph all week and I've seen debris being blown off vehicles driven by idiots who don't secure their loads. Bad enough in a car but that stuff could kill a motorcyclist on a highway. That's what the highway patrol should be focusing on, but nah... easier to go after speeders on low traffic days.

On windy days without excessive gusts I'll go PR hunting just for laughs. A steady 20-25 mph tailwind is like sailing. Even with a tailwind the KOM is safely out of my reach so I don't feel guilty about a top ten. Most KOMs and top tens are already tailwind assisted; or part of a leadout train or paceline. Check the weather archives to confirm. It's pretty uncommon to find a top ten that wasn't at least a little tailwind assisted.

If I have to navigate long stretches of crosswind I might switch to the low profile rims, but even my sorta-aero rims are only 30mm -- just enough that I can feel 'em being blown around a bit.

I was riding after midnight a few nights ago, enjoying the rural farm to market roads and access roads to myself... mostly. The stiff headwind is good exercise. Turns a 4 mile 2% grade into a real climb -- closest we get to "mountains" here.

At the turnaround point on a bridge I could hear a big truck going way too fast in my direction, even before I saw it appear above the crest. I was caught at a light and usually I'd stop and go, but I had a hunch that truck would be on top of me. When I heard it downshifting I figured he was going to make a sharp left turn toward me as the light was changing. I moved about 10 feet to my right. Sure enough, it was a loaded trash truck trying to beat the red light, cutting diagonally into where I was just a few moments earlier, and in a moment the truck would be broadside to a 20 mph wind. He didn't lose control but not for lack of trying.

That's the main thing I worry about riding on windy days.
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Old 01-12-20, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
I actually don't pay attention to wind speed on a forecast. I just go ride and if it is windy, I cry about it ha ha! Actually I love riding in the wind.
Same here, except for the "love riding in the wind", I hate it. I was doing a route several times a week for about 3 years. There wasn't a segment that I could a top 10 PR on useless there was a 30+ tail wind.
A few times a year I get caught in a leading edge of a thunder storm and it gets crazy.

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Old 01-12-20, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Same here, except for the "love riding in the wind", I hate it.


I could never figure out why people plan rides according to wind direction either. If I start into a headwind, I know it's going to be tough but I'll enjoy the return.

If I start with a tailwind, I know to conserve for the return. Pretty simple.
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Old 01-12-20, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post


I could never figure out why people plan rides according to wind direction either. If I start into a headwind, I know it's going to be tough but I'll enjoy the return.

If I start with a tailwind, I know to conserve for the return. Pretty simple.
My routes are loops so same thought.
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Old 01-12-20, 01:01 AM
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To the two posters above-- don't try that technique here. I live in a valley shaped like a horseshoe, open toward the Pacific Ocean. Into this valley open 6 mountain passes.

We get winds from every single direction, often all at the same time. Riding west into a headwind? Turn south... right into a headwind. I've ridden a three hour loop and had 15 minutes of tailwind.

Add to that about 1,200ft of elevation change between the "bottom" of the valley and the edge of the foothills, and you can have wind from the NNE @ 1,500ft, and wind from the SSW @ 900ft.

Entirely possible to ride 15 miles into a headwind, turn around, and ride 15 miles into a headwind.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm almost strictly a pavement rider, so a question for people who ride both roads and gravel-- do you have different weather thresholds for each?
I certainly do. With the unpredictability of the winds, any day forecast for double digit wind speed, I'll eschew the roads in favor of hitting the dirt. Speeds aren't as high on loose surfaces anyway.

I've been "caught out" in some of the most demoralizing wind to ever blow (riding directly into +20mph winds is like a waking nightmare,) and make every effort to avoid that happening again...

with one shining exception. When the wind is just right, and the wife agrees to give me a ride home, it's like the stars aligning for a once in a lifetime ride.

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Old 01-12-20, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
To the two posters above-- don't try that technique here. I live in a valley shaped like a horseshoe, open toward the Pacific Ocean. Into this valley open 6 mountain passes.
We get winds from every single direction, often all at the same time..
Some of your posts, I believe you live somewhere near Forest Falls. I've done that area, Damnation Alley, Oak Glen Many times, cold, wind, heat, you name it. Yes, I have done Breathless Agony and Ride Around the Bear 4 times. When you do these rides, you do what you have to do to get it done. Not any different than rides closer to home, you do what you have to do to complete the rides. Not sure what you think is so special about that area, done it many times so yeah, maybe I have tried it around .....there! Though I will say Damnation Alley with a headwind and high temps is probably the toughest section I have done in that area. Oak Glen was surprisingly easier than GMR imo.

The top section of Forest Falls (22%??) by the general store was also tough but I was using a standard double 53/39-12/26 crank cassette set up. I actually had to stand on that section.

In your area, the ride Breathless Agony has 12,000 ft of climbing. Not like I haven't climbed in many different conditions. Wind on the way up to Onyx Summit is always fun!

BTW, my avatar is an image from my Breathless Agony jersey.

The ride I did in your area. With all the crazy high stats you post, I'm sure you have done it as well.


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Old 01-12-20, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm almost strictly a pavement rider, so a question for people who ride both roads and gravel-- do you have different weather thresholds for each?

I ride off road at times, mostly steep fire roads in local mountains. I have ridden on high wind days but the wind does not seem to be as much a factor up there for some reason. Seems one section of the mountain may be climbing into wind, sometimes a tailwind, but as soon as the trail turns, the mountain side shields the rider from the wind and it is not much of a factor like cycling on the road.

Of course I do not go off road in the rain to protect the trail by not creating ruts.

Of course descending on an MTB really improves road descending skills.

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