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I am sick of riding into headwind!!!!!!(20 posts)

I am sick of riding into headwind!!!!!!eschelon
Apr 26, 2002 5:59 AM
From what I understand about watts and cycling, watts is watts and it doesn't matter what speed you are traveling at. Since I understand this to be so, I figured what the hell, I might as well go riding yesterday even though the wind was really blowing hard.

Mind you, I am able to travel at 18+ mph on an easy day at zone 1,2...the wind was so bad, I was lucky to even get past 12 mph. It was supposed to be my hard day, so I figured so long as I was pushing near my LT, it didn't really matter what speed I would be pushing.

The wind got so bad at times that I couldn't even push my hr near my knees started killing me because there was so much wind that I was basically strength training my legs and not stressing my aerobic conditioning.

I can't wait to get my MTB from the shop because when the windy days come again (as often does) I'll simply go trail riding as my hard days...hell if you want to go fast on the MTB, you are basically riding at your LT or AT the whole time which is good for increasing my VO2.
what gears?DougSloan
Apr 26, 2002 6:07 AM
Even a 42/21 gear should allow you to ride under 10 mph at a decent rpm. Keep throwing lower gears on the bike until it allows you to spin even into your strong headwinds. You'll be fine, then. It's no different than a hill.
Apr 26, 2002 6:13 AM
Anytime I went below between any of these gears, it was just too damn easy to knees felt better, but my heart rate wouldn't climb worth a damn.
Apr 26, 2002 6:23 AM
I don't understand. Are you saying that you are "in between" gears, that one is too easy, but next is too hard? If your range is sufficient, it seems like you should be able to find some gear that makes you work, but keeps the rpms up. You might try going to the large ring and seeing if there is a combo there that works.

If your knees are hurting, maybe it has nothing to do with wind, but you are having a ergonomics problem, doing too much, too fast, or simply over training. I'd figure that out. I think this has nothing to do with wind (even though wind certainly could irritate you mentally, that's for sure).
bonking probablycyclopathic
Apr 26, 2002 10:07 AM
unlike climbing riding into wind drains you without much notice (esp if you're on lighter side) and then it is very hard to hit LT. judging by the post guy is mtber which means low aerobic fitness and high LT esp relative to aerobic.

It also very difficult mentally you get no break. I had a "flat" ride where I was going into wind for 80mi, barely making 13-16mph, /stopped a few times thought I had a flat/ then I turned back and instantly hit 25-30. Of cause it was 4 o'clock tail wind only lasted 1.5hr.

Winds usually die before sunset and night is the best time for flat riding or climbing. Navigation sucks though and riding downhills require good lights and vision. Also light drizzle kills wind completely.
Apr 26, 2002 8:07 AM
I don't know anything about training with a heart rate monitor, but I did live in the Midwest for two years, and I know that you can't spin into a headwind--it doesn't work. Get in the drops, put your head down, and push those gears.
don't agree at allJohnG
Apr 26, 2002 11:47 AM
My weekday rides are often in 'hard' cross or headwinds. IMHO, spinning is the way to go when hammering, whether it's into a wind or not.

don't agree at allgtx
Apr 26, 2002 12:47 PM
I've always seen riding into the wind as a power issue--ie you use more of a power stroke with slightly lower rpms. I think you'll see most pros using a difference cadence into the wind--simular to how you would approach a slight rise--trying to stay in the same gear, keeping the power on. I did a quick google search and found these sources--search for "headwind" in the text.

Of course, this is open to debate, and whatever work for you works for you...
Do you live in MN???mmquest
Apr 26, 2002 7:05 PM
I almost posted the same thing yesterday! I FLEW on my way out (and was a little concerned that, at 50kph, I didn't feel any wind!) and had a good HR. But, on my way back into the headwind, couldn't seem to get my HR over 160 for any length of time. Maybe it is mental, but I was pushing as hard as I could. Beats me...but you are not alone!
re: I am sick of riding into headwind!!!!!!Chen2
Apr 26, 2002 6:13 AM
We ride in a lot of wind here in the Southwest and I've found that using a cadence meter to help select gears will improve speed and endurance. Into a headwind if I keep my cadence above 90 I can make more speed and go farther than if I try to push a bigger gear.
Apr 26, 2002 6:37 AM
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!! Lance knows that! I know that from going headfirst into the ground at 60 km/h :) And ya Lance's recovery was amazing but who knows mine might be better!? Go to and give me a call if you don't want to start flaming on here!!! I'll back up every persons arguement :)
turn around. :) (nm)Duane Gran
Apr 26, 2002 7:21 AM
ride backwards? :-) nmDougSloan
Apr 26, 2002 7:22 AM
Think of riding into the wind as a nice long climb. nmdirtbag
Apr 26, 2002 7:34 AM
While we're on the subject....Jon Billheimer
Apr 26, 2002 9:22 AM
Maybe some of you wind gurus can answer a couple of questions that have long bothered me. When riding into a strong wind I have a hard time getting my heart rate up without feeling like I'm blowing up completely. And I have a difficult time regulating my breathing--something about the wind blowing directly into my face that seems to disrupt everything. Anyone else have similar experiences, an explanation of the mechanisms involved, and some solutions?
Apr 26, 2002 1:08 PM
I think it's pride. When climbing a great big hill at 5 mph, you are admired by everyone. When struggling on flat ground at 10 mph into a 30 mph wind, no one has any clue what you are going through; you just look wimpy and slow. So, you hammer your guts out purely out of pride. Hills are visable. Wind isn't.

It's a theory.
pride-I fully agree.(nm)Crankist
Apr 26, 2002 7:04 PM
Headwinds are good!jaybird
Apr 26, 2002 9:23 AM
Especially if you fart a lot.

I wonder if the term "breaking wind" came from cycling?

just something to ponder on your rides this weekend.

keep the rubber side down,
Shifting winds...TypeOne
Apr 26, 2002 11:45 AM
Someone here once compared hills to wind, and everyone agreed that they would rather train on a long hill than ride into a headwind. At least you know there's an end to the hill, I guess.

On most days, I face a headwind into work. I would rather work hard on my way home, but I'm not about to move south of town to accomplish that. Then it is fun to ride that tailwind home and hammer away. I can get a decent workout either way.
Then there are those horrible days when the wind seemingly shifts mid-day, and I face a headwind both ways. Damn, that's not fair.
So much for a zero emmisions vehicle <NM>mhinman
Apr 27, 2002 7:03 AM