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It was the best of rides...It was the worst of rides... (long)(11 posts)

It was the best of rides...It was the worst of rides... (long)Dutchy
Oct 15, 2001 8:46 PM
Don't you just hate it when you plan for a good fast ride, but the headwind has other plans for you.
On Monday I drove up to a an area I will be moving to in April 02'. Even though where
not moving for a while I wanted to check out some new roads. As soon as I got out of the car,
I felt the wind was very stiff, but I thought I'm already here and it's a nice sunny day so why not.
My route was a simple 80km/50ml RT, ride to the end of the road, turn around and come back.
I stared my journey and straight away noticed the wind was at my back. After the first 10km/6ml
of hills it started to flatten out and I was really flying with the tailwind, on one flat stretch I was
doing 52kph/32mph. I wondered should I keep going in this direction as the head wind back
would be impossible, but I don't get many tailwind's so I made the most of it. At the base of the
last climb my Ave. was 36.8kph/23mph, I reached the turn around point with an Ave. of 34.2kph/21mph.
Not too bad for the terrain and for someone who has never raced.
As soon as I started to head back I could feel the headwind pummelling me, I got on the drops and just pedalled.
The wind was so strong that I had to break on the downhills as it was trying to throw me off the bike.
I could barely maintain 19kph/12mph. I admit I stopped several times, in disgust, I was doing my
best but the wind was beating me. I couldn't even stand on the hills as my body was acting
like a windsock, making it even harder. Eventually I made it back to the car, with an Ave. speed of 25.5kph/16mph.
I had my fastest Ave. heading out (for a hills ride) and my slowest Ave. coming back.
Now I have ridden in plenty of headwinds before but this one takes the prize for the worst I have
ever experienced. I think the wind was ~25-30 knots.

Tell us about you're best/worst ride experience.

So, for the $64 questionmickey-mac
Oct 15, 2001 8:50 PM
Does the wind blow like this on a regular basis at your soon-to-be hometown? I hate riding in the wind and would dead living someplace where the wind frequently blows as you describe. Where are you moving?
re: It was the best of rides...It was the worst of rides... (long)540nova
Oct 16, 2001 3:38 AM
Sounds like Wichita Falls, Texas, in the spring. I would be going as hard as I could, at a blistering 11 miles per hour, sometimes as slow as 7mph! Demoralizing! But it will make you stronger.
re: It was the best of rides...It was the worst of rides... (long)morey
Oct 16, 2001 3:41 AM
Being a larger rider, I HATE HEADWINDS!!!!!!!!!
Don't worry, being smaller is no help in the wind. nmMB1
Oct 16, 2001 6:36 AM
Wind & flexibility.Len J
Oct 16, 2001 3:45 AM
Two rules when riding in the wind:

1.) Plan your ride to have the first half of your ride into the wind. You are stronger early in a ride and you have the tailwind to look forward to. In an area of intense wind, you have to be flexible & change your route if the route you planned starts out with a tailwind. IMO there is nothing worse than finishing with a headwind.

2.) Try to never do an Out-and-back ride in a windy area. Because of rule #1 above, it's too easy to cut the ride short. Riding in wind is incredibly mental, watching your average hover at 12 or 13 mph when you are working your butt off is demoralizing. It only takes one mental slip & you've turned around to go home. Don't give yourself this out.

If you can overcome (or at least learn to battle) the mental demons that the wind brings with it, the gains in strength from riding into the wind are amazing. In addition, the gains from developing mental toughness & increasing your pain threshhold are not insignificant.

Wind can be your friend, Not one you would trust your kids with, but your friend nontheless.

Oct 16, 2001 4:01 AM
I also save the tail wind for the ride home. I use alternative roads to escape direct head winds for a while. Cross winds aren't that good either, but for me they provide some relief from the demoralizing effect of riding into a relentless head wind. So I go a mile or two north or south before once again turning into the west wind. Some day I'll try a fairing.
Beneficial winds are only 120 degrees out of 360!Tig
Oct 16, 2001 9:26 AM
I tack sometimes as well. I remember someone saying that the only beneficial winds cover just 1/3rd of the compass. That sounds similar to sailing! So tacking has it merit, for survival if nothing else.
Wind & flexibility.morey
Oct 16, 2001 4:17 AM
Headwinds do make you stronger. However, when you are riding into one, you fear that death is imminent. Never ride home with a headwind if you can avoid it. Wind can make you feel really weak and insignificant.
wind: something else...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 16, 2001 4:59 AM
figured out the other day: the wind just is. it's not there to spite you, ruin your day, make the ride harder, make you stronger, make you weaker, faster, slower, happier, more disgusted, just is. i quit fighting it and started riding it, like hills, and driving rain. made me a whole bunch happier.

on the other hand, Do(u)g might have conflicting information about wind following the death valley crossing. i have a feeling his information comes from much closer to the source. |-)
It is quite a windy areaDutchy
Oct 16, 2001 8:33 PM
Thanks for you're replies.
I have already decided that next time I do this ride I will come back a different way,
more new roads to ride on :-)
I live in Adelaide, South Australia which is on the coast (like most Aussie capitals) It is normally
windy for about 6 months of the year, from August to end of Feb, our spring and summer.
Most days the forecast is : Morning NW breeze 7 -10 knots shifting to SW 15-20 in the afternoon.
The wind is the only reason I won't ride sometimes. Anything over 20 knots forget it!
I hope my new suburb won't be as windy, it's 45km/28ml inland but on the opposite side of the
mountain range, from where I live at the moment, away from the ocean.