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Doing an "easy" ride on super windy days? (front range area)(5 posts)

Doing an "easy" ride on super windy days? (front range area)TomS
Apr 24, 2002 10:42 AM
Hey all, so even though I don't think I'm up to actually trying to race yet, I've been trying to follow a loose "training" plan just to get into better shape (and to keep up with or pass the other non-racers I ride with :) ).

So yesterday I tried to take an easy ride, but as LoneFrontRanger said in another post, it was crazy windy out there! Unless I was going exactly the same direction as the wind, it was either slowing me to a crawl, or taking all my concentration to ride in a straight line without being blown off the road. This isn't the first time, and around here it won't be the last... Other times I've just called it a challenge and pretended I was on a steep climb, but I really wanted to take it easy last night.

So what do you guys do? Re-arrange your easy days? Don't ride? (don't say that!) Or just go super-slow? At least it's easier on my road bike... I commute in & out of boulder on a mtn bike with panniers, now those really catch the wind.
umm, good question...lonefrontranger
Apr 24, 2002 11:53 AM
Let me know when you figure it out :)

But seriously - this is what I do. On days when I do either speedwork or recovery and it's very windy, I recruit my boyfriend to help out. I ride 25-30 miles east on Rt. 7 or 52 (Dacono / Ft. Lupton), he picks me up in the van when I'm done, then we switch. You can go as far out as you like. Or you can do this on Nelson if it's closer - just do more "intervals". I know it's cheating, but it works.

The only other alternative is to ride your very smallest gear in a crosswind and get blown all over the road. I hope you don't have Rolfs or some other kind of deep V-section rims on your bike. I sold mine about 3 months after moving to Boulder, and I'd never use my Zipps in windy stuff either.

For outdoor intervals, I use the Colorado Tech Center, a large office park near my house to do sprint intervals. It's got big wide open straightaways and is mostly tech/white collar sector so there's no traffic after 6 PM. They're still building stuff out there, so sometimes there's mud and/or front-end loaders in the middle of the road, and I assume it will get busier as tenants come in, but for now it's close to perfect.

A bonus as I mentioned in a lower thread is that much of it has been xeriscaped and/or left as natural open space, with tall grass, wildflowers, fox, meadowlarks, coyotes, prairie dogs, lots of different large and small raptors, and all sorts of butterflies. IMO cooler than the "7th fairway" look, and better for the local water supply too.

There are gradual uphills going west (into the prevailing wind), gradual downhills going east (prevailing tailwind), and both on the east/west crosswind sections. I do efforts into the wind and recover going downhill with a tailwind.
Colorado Tech Center?TomS
Apr 24, 2002 12:53 PM
That sounds really familiar... where is that? I remember going by something with that sign and thinking it didn't look very "techy". I actually work in the CU researh park (we just moved in) but was out of town last weekend for the crit, I was hoping to at least watch it.

Anyway yeah, I was already warmed up from riding home from work (luckily I go east in the afternoon!), so I ended up heading west-ish for a while and pushing pretty hard so that the ride back wasn't too brutal.

And no, no deep dish wheels for me - I was grateful for that yesterday!
Louisville south of Coal Creeklonefrontranger
Apr 24, 2002 1:15 PM
It's bounded by Dillon Rd. on the south and Rt. 42 on the north, about a mile west of 287. The Louisville ride goes past there quite a bit on their way back to the shop.

It doesn't look very "tech" because several of the buildings on the north end are basically only girders at this point. Legacies of the dot-bomb. They are building, but at glacial speed. The south side is much more established, so I pretty much keep to the undeveloped bits.

My favorite is the Lafayette Tech Center: fancy brick entrance cosmetics, 2 piles of dirt and a "For Lease" sign, which have all been sitting in the same spot in a big empty field since we moved here.
even worse trying to do a hard ride..dotkaye
Apr 25, 2002 11:38 AM
the last 5 hard rides I've attempted to do have been in these ridiculous winds. I find I can't go hard simply because I'm trying not to get blown into the gutter or just blown over.. winds are one thing, gusty winds are another. there I am, JRA, with the bike at an angle to the perpendicular into the wind: wind stops, I fall right and lurch upright: wind gusts, I fall left and lurch back: winds starts howling again, lean into it again.. bah. This may be doing something for my bike handling skills, but it feels more like training to become Bobo the Bicycle Clown..

Frankly I dunno. I just go and swim hard instead, that's the beauty of triathlons, there's always one of the sports you can do.