Author Topic: Biking in the Wind  (Read 7361 times)

snshijuptr

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Biking in the Wind
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:15:54 PM »
My family just moved in with my parents to save for a house. My husband and I both plan to ride our bikes as our main form of transportation. The problem is that my parents live at the beach and it is super windy. This week the winds are 20-30 mph. This morning it was shaking the front door and gusting. Any tips for biking in the wind especially for commute and towing the baby in a trailer?

destron

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 12:32:34 PM »
Windy conditions can significantly increase the difficulty of your ride. I am just careful to eat enough and have a snack with me on any trip greater than a few miles in windy conditions because I can bonk pretty hard on an empty stomach. Nice, tight-fitting sunglasses are helpful as well because the wind can dry out and irritate your eyes after a while.

RoseRelish

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 12:48:08 PM »
I like to carry a backpack and use it as a bit of a sail. I shift my body in the seat to get a bit of a boost from the wind. This works as long as you're not riding directly into the wind.

anastrophe

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 01:02:08 PM »
There are times when I will choose not to bike if it's windy enough. I don't weigh enough or carry enough stuff for it not to affect the handling of my bike significantly. The trailer might be tricky too, can you practice with something that isn't your kid in the trailer before taking the baby out in it?

+1 sunglasses, and in some conditions, balaclava. Wind chill can make it hard to shift or brake too, so you might want gloves.

MtnGal

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 01:06:35 PM »
When biking in the wind, it can be really helpful to not have on any super loose clothes that act as a sail and try to drag you backward/sideways.

Sometimes it just isn't worth it and walking is better.

mindaugas

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 01:26:44 AM »
I curse and sometimes give the wind the finger.

martynthewolf

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 01:40:29 AM »
I've ridden a lot in wind recently ranging from consistently high speed winds 25-30 mph and gusting winds of upto 30 mph. I would say consistent wind isn't to bad, get a rhythm going and you'll be fine. Gusting wind is the most tiresome, you get up some speed and a gust leeches it off you instantly and you have to start all over again. I would echo what some other members are saying about practising with something other than your kid before you go out properly.

BlueMR2

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 07:06:20 AM »
Ride your heaviest bike in the wind.  On my 16lb road bike, 20mph winds get really wicked and toss me around a lot.  I drag out my ancient 38lb mountain bike for those days.  It's pretty solid up into 30mph winds...

anastrophe

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 07:34:54 AM »
Ride your heaviest bike in the wind.  On my 16lb road bike, 20mph winds get really wicked and toss me around a lot.  I drag out my ancient 38lb mountain bike for those days.  It's pretty solid up into 30mph winds...

This! Although it helps if both rider and bike are heavier;)

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 01:20:34 PM »
High winds are both the most awesome and worst thing you can bike in.

Strong headwind is a soul crushing, face numbing, fun destroying, anger inducing pile of crap that you have to dig deep and learn to put up with.

Strong tailwind behind you though? It's like freebasing 30 year old oak aged, triple distilled unicorn blood.  You will see colours blur and stream by you until you approach superluminal speeds, finally slipping free of the surly bonds of earth and cycling forward to touch the face of God.

The following things have helped me a lot biking long distances into the wind on snowy winters:
- High seat, low handlebars
- Narrow handlebars
- Keeping your head very low to your handlebars
- Keeping your elbows tucked in, close to your body
- Wearing snug fitting clothing that doesn't flap around
- Realizing that it's going to take about 30% longer to get where you're going if you have a hard headwind.
- Realizing that you will be twice as hungry when you get there.

I don't know if trailers are like panniers in high winds . . . but panniers can catch a good amount of wind and knock you pretty hard from left to right, so you have to stay very alert.

snshijuptr

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 01:26:18 PM »
Thanks everyone. The winds died down today so my husband was able to bike to work for the first time to his new job. I'm planning to bust out the bike and trailer tomorrow to go to our new library. Exciting stuff.

tuyop

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 01:51:35 PM »
I curse and sometimes give the wind the finger.

Cursing and laughter are both good strategies for dealing with wind on bike rides.

Not biking is not a very good strategy unless you want to be a big complainypants with your life.


I mean, seriously, it's fucking hilarious that it's somehow windy BOTH WAYS, EVERY TIME.

boy_bye

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 02:03:48 PM »
I curse and sometimes give the wind the finger.

Cursing and laughter are both good strategies for dealing with wind on bike rides.

Not biking is not a very good strategy unless you want to be a big complainypants with your life.


I mean, seriously, it's fucking hilarious that it's somehow windy BOTH WAYS, EVERY TIME.

that happened to me yesterday! biking west along the allegheny river, wind in my face. turn to bike east along the monongahela, IN MY FACE AGAIN. dayum.

it's sort of a comfort to know it happens to everyone though.

Bakari

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 08:18:15 AM »

- High seat, low handlebars
- Narrow handlebars
- Keeping your head very low to your handlebars
- Keeping your elbows tucked in, close to your body
- Wearing snug fitting clothing that doesn't flap around

+1

The guys in the olympics don't wear that get up for fashion



Aero bars serve a real purpose too (those are what the riders are holding in the picture, that position your forearms on the regular handlebar)
though they are probably overkill for most commuters

But at least go with dropbars


That way you can hold them low when its windy, and hold them high the rest of the time (for comfort)

2WheelPilot

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 10:50:52 AM »
But at least go with dropbars
I'll second the dropbar recommendation.  They give you at least two riding positions.  If you have brake levers on the "flats", you'll have three hand positions which you can vary according to wind, comfort, etc.

Faraday

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Re: Biking in the Wind
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2013, 07:21:07 PM »
Gear down, ride slow, plan for more time. Double-check to make sure your tires are at maximum inflation. Wear close-fitting clothing.  Reward yourself when you get there. Don't let the wind take away the joy of the ride. The others are right, weight DOES help.