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Real-Time On-Bike Headwind Indicator

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Real-Time On-Bike Headwind Indicator

Old 08-29-22, 09:50 AM
  #76  
tomato coupe
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Selective availability and CoCom limits are two different things.
Yes, Selective Availability and CoCom restrictions are different things. I was addressing the former, because the latter is irrelevant to cycling.
Cocom limits are 18km altitude AND 1000 knots speed although some receivers do OR
COCOM itself was disbanded in 1994, and CoCom GPS limitations exist today as export restrictions. You can produce commercial GPS receivers that don't have these limits, but you need an export license to sell them outside the U.S.
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Old 08-29-22, 10:12 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
I took a video but you can barely hear me talking at all over the wind, and I can't figure out how to post it anyway. My phone sucks, it took 8 shots to get a 360, but here they are. This is where I turned around this morning, some place in Nebraska.


... snip ...


I'm beginning to doubt that I'll find a way to relate the Google forecast to real world conditions. They may simply be independent. This morning was supposedly light wind, 11 or 12mph, but the roar/howl was pretty consistent and strong enough that riding into it was exhausting. Haven't yet switched to sailflow, windy or windfinder. Probably in the next few rides.

I'm trying out some dirt riding for many reasons but one big one is that I think my speed will be much lower. It seems like the relationship between air speed and aerodynamic drag is non-linear. If that's true, going a little slower should reduce the drag significantly.

I always enjoy new routes but I do feel that I enjoyed this morning's ride more than I would have if I'd been on the highway with that wind.
~~~~
Wind seems to be variable most of the time. I've never heard of a forecast that shows wind speed ranges or probabilities like it does for rain!
There's an app that reports headwind and tailwind durations for an uploaded GPS recording, since it has the local weather data and the timing of the ride. I've seen a few cyclists show it, and it doesn't seem that helpful or accurate.

Here in Ohio, we had some windy forecasts in the spring and early summer, so I was paying more attention to conditions on those days.

Chaotic wind speeds
I noticed that the predicted "12 mph, gusts of 18" was quite variable most of the time. Maybe I'd see 4 mph, then 10, 14, 8 mph, etc. Chaotic. The wind came in gusts of various durations. And some windy days seemed to be windy even down into the sheltered woodland roads. Other times, the woods and valleys seemed calmer. I suppose the wind / air movements and gusts are vertical, not just horizontal.
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Old 08-29-22, 10:45 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
~~~~
Wind seems to be variable most of the time. I've never heard of a forecast that shows wind speed ranges or probabilities like it does for rain! [...] Chaotic wind speeds
I noticed that the predicted "12 mph, gusts of 18" was quite variable most of the time. Maybe I'd see 4 mph, then 10, 14, 8 mph, etc. Chaotic. The wind came in gusts of various durations. And some windy days seemed to be windy even down into the sheltered woodland roads. Other times, the woods and valleys seemed calmer. I suppose the wind / air movements and gusts are vertical, not just horizontal.
Yes, though the industries that manufacture and operate wind turbines for energy generation are pretty familiar with the distribution of wind speeds at a particular location (and height). Wind speeds are pretty well approximated by a Weibull (or Rayleigh) distribution.
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Old 08-29-22, 11:08 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Yes, Selective Availability and CoCom restrictions are different things. I was addressing the former, because the latter is irrelevant to cycling.

But it was relevant to the OP's comment in post 55.

​​​​​​"Non military GPS systems are slightly crippled for security's sake. They're programmed not to function above a certain speed or altitude. I thought it was 10,000ft but there are mountains west of here taller than that where people hike so I dunno."
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Old 08-29-22, 11:32 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
But it was relevant to the OP's comment in post 55.

​​​​​​"Non military GPS systems are slightly crippled for security's sake. They're programmed not to function above a certain speed or altitude. I thought it was 10,000ft but there are mountains west of here taller than that where people hike so I dunno."
No problem. He conflated two issues and I addressed the one that was relevant.
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Old 08-29-22, 11:38 AM
  #81  
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Did you ever try using the NOAA's weather.gov with your smartphone? Its not 'real time' for your exact location, but its free so it can't hurt to try it out. type in your zip code or location in the upper left and it'll come up with a general weather report for your area, then look on the middle of the page on the right and click '3-day History' for most recent weather data (including general wind speed) for your area. The reporting can be anywhere from every 15 minutes (in my suburban area) to every hour. Also below that '3-Day History' you'll see 'Mobile Weather' which isn't too accurate, but the 'Hourly Weather forecast' right below it has some good graphs that project into the future. The display will be small so you'd have to stop pedaling to check it. Remember, its free so worth a look if you're not too concerned with exact data.

National Weather Service
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Old 08-29-22, 01:14 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
https://earth.nullschool.net/
I find this site pretty useful. Once you zero in on your coordinates (I got them for my home from google maps) you can make a bookmark and come back to the same place every time. I generally plan my recreational rides so I'm going out against the wind and get pushed back home by them. The speed it gives is not too far off. My personal limit for fun rides is 15mph.
Wow, neat looking site. I'll definitely explore the features when I compare wind data sites. Thank you.

This morning I confirmed something I had observed and been confused by previously. If I'm biking about 15mph and the wind picks up to the point where it's not intolerable but quite annoying, when I stop the wind will be barely noticeable on my skin or ears. I measured winds from 5-11mph.

So 5-11mph is barely a noticeable breeze, but 20-26mph is nearing what I consider intolerable. Adding 15mph on the bike doesn't leave much room for wind. I may be overly sensitive. I recently learned that the area I grew up in supposedly has the lowest average wind in the United States at 1.1mph.

If the wind direction and speed change rapidly (like gusting from different directions) then even lower wind speeds get unpleasant for me, and that was part of the annoyance this morning.

thanks also for mentioning your limit. Mine is poorly defined and somewhat variable, but I now hope I can clear up the uncertainty with better forecasts and more experience just riding. :-)
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Old 08-29-22, 01:28 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Pinelander View Post
I have the same problems in the open farmland where I ride. Accuweather says 4 MPH and I swear I hit long stretches of 15 MPH headwinds. Humidity seems to add a few more degrees of difficulty. The real problem is that no matter what direction I go in, I always seem to be going into the wind!
Must be an open farm country thing, because I've often had rides like that in which no matter what direction you ride, you always seem to be facing the wind.
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Old 08-29-22, 01:37 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
~~~~
Wind seems to be variable most of the time. I've never heard of a forecast that shows wind speed ranges or probabilities like it does for rain!
There's an app that reports headwind and tailwind durations for an uploaded GPS recording, since it has the local weather data and the timing of the ride. I've seen a few cyclists show it, and it doesn't seem that helpful or accurate.

Here in Ohio, we had some windy forecasts in the spring and early summer, so I was paying more attention to conditions on those days.

Chaotic wind speeds
I noticed that the predicted "12 mph, gusts of 18" was quite variable most of the time. Maybe I'd see 4 mph, then 10, 14, 8 mph, etc. Chaotic. The wind came in gusts of various durations. And some windy days seemed to be windy even down into the sheltered woodland roads. Other times, the woods and valleys seemed calmer. I suppose the wind / air movements and gusts are vertical, not just horizontal.
I think you're talking about mywindsock.com . Looked like a great site but I couldn't get it to work, and at least for me, once the ride's over I have a hard time caring.

The chaotic wind you mention is what bugs me most at low and medium speeds, but I see no solution.

your name scares me and I love it!

Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Did you ever try using the NOAA's weather.gov with your smartphone? Its not 'real time' for your exact location, but its free so it can't hurt to try it out. type in your zip code or location in the upper left and it'll come up with a general weather report for your area, then look on the middle of the page on the right and click '3-day History' for most recent weather data (including general wind speed) for your area. The reporting can be anywhere from every 15 minutes (in my suburban area) to every hour. Also below that '3-Day History' you'll see 'Mobile Weather' which isn't too accurate, but the 'Hourly Weather forecast' right below it has some good graphs that project into the future. The display will be small so you'd have to stop pedaling to check it. Remember, its free so worth a look if you're not too concerned with exact data.

National Weather Service
yes, that's a good site. When I was riding the same ride every time I had it pulled up for a location in the middle and I'd just refresh before each ride. It never seemed too different from Google though. When I started riding all over the place I switched back to just the hourly report that Google shows for my apartment. It's cited as weather.com.

Thanks for the reminder. Now the list of good wind sites is
weather.gov
windy.com
sailflow.com
windfinder.com
I suspect I will end up switching to one of these.
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Old 08-29-22, 01:46 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
has anyone else dealt with this problem? Any suggestions?
Yes. Just go ride and don't worry about it.

Also I'm familiar with CO and the wind. Have you tried riding early morning or late evening when winds are calmer?
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Old 08-29-22, 01:55 PM
  #86  
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Yeah, last year I only rode right at sunset and after. This summer I've been getting up at 5 or 6 am to get home before the wind and heat ruin the ride.
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Old 08-29-22, 01:55 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Yes. Just go ride and don't worry about it.
My thoughts exactly. If it's too windy to ride, you'll know it soon enough. But I'd personally prefer to just enjoy the ride instead of worrying about looking at displays of electronic equipment to see if the headwind you're feeling is real or not...
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Old 08-29-22, 02:02 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
My thoughts exactly. If it's too windy to ride, you'll know it soon enough. But I'd personally prefer to just enjoy the ride instead of worrying about looking at displays of electronic equipment to see if the headwind you're feeling is real or not...
Agreed.

If there are high wind speeds the day I ride it just means I'll go slower than normal when going into a head wind. What I will do if it's windy out is try and plan a loop where I have the wind at my back for the majority of the ride.
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