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That wall of wind

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That wall of wind

Old 04-03-22, 09:44 AM
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That wall of wind

Maybe not a brick wall of wind, but definitely a large limiting factor with my speed. Getting older and riding on the handlebar tops and having the bars at seat height got me wondering. A little research showed about an 80% wind drag at 18 mph. I donít want to embarrass myself too much, but depending on the wind, 15-16 mph on the tops for an old guy is my max comfort level. Getting in the drops maybe 18 mph, but the drops arenít as friendly as I approach 65 years old, and the climate here only allows comfortable riding 6 months of the year.

Realistically, Iíve come to accept this and actually it fits my style and bikes better. Occasionally later in the summer as I get in a bit better shape, I get more aggressive but casual and enjoying the ride seems to rule. I obviously wouldnít qualify for the ď19 mph average paceĒ thread. Reading a bit about wind drag sure points out how much extra power is needed for not much extra speed. That wind drag can be my excuse.
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Old 04-03-22, 09:50 AM
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I discovered long ago after racing bikes for 20 years that the simple act of riding a bicycle brings more pleasure and long term benefit than always pushing the pace. In a hurry to go nowhere makes no sense. You have discovered the joy of riding a bicycle.
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Old 04-03-22, 09:58 AM
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10-12 miles wind speed is about my limit. I'm willing to grind it out into the wind in hopes of a tailwind on the way home. Sometimes Wyoming wind betrays me and it's a headwind in both directions.
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Old 04-03-22, 10:09 AM
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Wind is always there. I kind of like hills more.

As far as ď19mph avg,Ē donít give up. At 62, I got into a 5-man pace line, for 130 miles, with 5300í of climbing, but a steady tailwind. We were over 19 mph not only at 100, but for 130 miles, too. Avg age = 62.

We fell off after that because one of the 67-year-olds started to fade at 165 miles. We stayed together and finished 230.2 at 17.01 mph. A couple of the others only rode 228, which cut them below 17.0. Same tailwind, all day.

None of us generally average more than 17 on individual rides, and if itís hilly, 14-15, same with wind. Our Monday night shootouts generally leave me into the wind at 10-12 mph.

The wind sucks, but relax and spin up, you are capable of riding more than you know.

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Old 04-03-22, 10:18 AM
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Mostly I was referencing just dead air drag, but it’s pretty much the same sort of aero effect with headwinds thrown in except obviously to a greater degree. Last year before retirement I had a day ride planned to see my parents 20 miles away. The day approached and wind forecast was greater. I had it planned, and darn it, I was going to do it. BIG wind on the way back. Easily 25 mph right at me. Strongest winds I ever rode in. Had the miyata triple in 2nd easiest gear on level ground. No coasting as you would come to a dead stop in 25yards. I survived but won’t forget. Stupid I was.
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Old 04-03-22, 10:22 AM
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I feel your pain. Here in Fort Wayne my route north for maybe a mile before turning west for a few miles, depending on length of ride. Then I turn north again and do sort of an odd shaped rectangular shape ending in a 3-4 mile stretch home.

there is always the Indiana easterly breeze, some days stronger than others. However lots of days it seems no matter what direction I’m going there is a headwind.
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Old 04-03-22, 10:33 AM
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That flatland breeze. My in-laws live 50 miles from Ft Wayne in Ohio. A huge wind mill farm there. The flatlands don’t block that wind much, so no hiding from it as you know.

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Old 04-03-22, 10:57 AM
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Yep, this sounds like my rides for the past month or so to include yesterday. Winds gusting into the high 20's are the norm around here right now. I just try to stay positive and don't fight it. It does suck though when your on parts of your ride where you can easily spin at 20+ mph and now your in the drops, fighting hard, HR in the 160's trying to do 13 mph. That was yesterday. Today I'm grabbing the Guv'nor instead of a road bike and just going out for fun.
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Old 04-03-22, 11:21 AM
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The spring winds really remind me of just how bad wind drag is. Slogging along at 10 or 11mph is mentally difficult, especially if you have to ride into the wind to get home. My general strategy is to find routes with trees or hills to block the wind, and that does help. I also avoid looking at the bike computer, since it's less annoying if you don't know how slow you are.

A back-up plan is to pull out the recumbent! It's still subject to wind drag, but the drag is definitely less. Plus, it's a nice bit of variety, as it uses the muscles differently.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-03-22, 02:40 PM
2k miles from the midwest
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I grew up not far from bianchigirl , so I know those winds that blow across those glacier-flattened plains...

But the worst I ever experienced was on my former commute across the Narrows bridge in Tacoma during a particularly bad spring storm. They don't release wind speeds anymore, other than "more than 40". We would see that listed pretty regularly and got a feel for where that threshold would set off the "high winds warning" sign. During this bad storm, it had to have been over 60mph. It was a struggle to keep upright, like nothing we'd ever experienced before.

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Old 04-03-22, 03:10 PM
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The timing of this thread is perfect

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Old 04-03-22, 04:07 PM
So it goes.
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I can definitely commiserate. On today's ride we had a headwind both on the way out towards the east and on the way back in. We pilots are painfully aware that headwinds are the norm and tailwinds are a rare and whimsical beast.
Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.
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Old 04-03-22, 04:21 PM
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Worst ride home from work decades ago- typical was 45 min, up and over a Santa Monica Mtns canyon pass, that evening took 90 minutes and when I got home I was hammered. Even the downhill was small chainring work.
total emotional fatigue.
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Old 04-03-22, 04:30 PM
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Yesterday, my intention was to do ride around 55 miles on a familiar route, but at the start it was 40F with 14 mph winds out of the northwest (the direction I was heading, of course) with gusts up to 30 mph. By the time I dragged myself home, 37 miles later, it was 47 degrees with 21mph winds and gusts up to 29 mph. Ugh.
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Old 04-03-22, 05:42 PM
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It can be draining both physically and emotionally. We get Santa Ana winds here in Southern California and they can be brutal. They blow from the east , and , with very low humidity , they can cause sinus related headaches as well as dehydration, not to mention eye hazards even with the best fitting glasses. The wind can gust from a sustained force of about 20mph to well over 50mph in a short period of time. My normal riding takes me from my home in Santa Paula(about 20 miles from the beach) to the coast off Ventura , California and then after a tour of downtown a straight line east, directly into these winds when they occur. I have more than once called my wife for a ride home. I do not fight them any longer.
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Old 04-03-22, 10:15 PM
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I live in Phoenix and I started wearing N-95 masks a few years ago on high dust and pollen days. I found it also helps retain moisture so I don't dehydrate as fast. The mask gets a little gross and soggy, especially as the temperature goes up, but moisture is retained.
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