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Windy, windy, tips, and when is it too much?

Joe86Joe86 Posts: 180
edited November 2009 in Road beginners
Hey all. Being someone who lives near the sea, and also being from a town that is knowing for being quite windy, I'm getting used to cycling in the wind. 20-30 mph regular winds, and 20-30 mph gusts are quite regular for Eastbourne. I don't find the winds a huge huge problem, unless you go to the hilly parts such as Beachy Head. But today, I had for the first time got up the biggest hill in Eastbourne, only to almost be blown off by my bike. There were 20 mph winds, which is pretty much common practice for here, but also 35+ mph gusting crosswinds on the low flat areas, so I imagine they must have been 40+ up high which kept pulling me further into the road, or pushing me into the curb. I'm about 86kg, so I'm not small, and I kept being pulled out of line, and I decided to abort continuing through Beachy Head, as I was seriously worried about getting blown over. I ended up having a nice 15-20 mile road through the residential areas, which was a lot safer.

Other than avoiding the hills, is there any way you can try and remain safe when in strong crosswinds? The headwinds and tailwinds make it more challenging, but I don't feel worried about being blown off. Also, what kind of winds do you find pull the enjoyment out of your cycling, and make it a little dangerous?

Cheers

Joe

Posts

  • brownboshbrownbosh Posts: 602
    Try inland. Work on your core muscles and dont over compensate for a gust or you will end up on your censored when it fades. I dont go out on exposed roads over 40 mph winds but stick to the lanes where the hedges do their bit.
  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    Turbo or go for a run, that's what I do when it's so windy it's dangerous.
  • hodsgodhodsgod Posts: 226
    GavH wrote:
    Turbo or go for a run, that's what I do when it's so windy it's dangerous.

    That's exactly what I do, wind scares the hell out of me.
  • when its dangerously windy i'll just go to the gym for longer. I hate cycling when it's really windy as it's just disheartening when you're struggling to average 15mph when usually 20+mph is do-able. In my head I know it's just the wind slowing me down but it's frustrating.
  • I hate the wind. Period. I'd rather have no wind at all than a tailwind. Totally ruins a bike ride. There's no such thing as a tailwind anyway, unless you ride in a perfectly straight line. Bl00dy wind turns an enjoyable means of getting to work into something I hate. I rode from Southampton to Fareham last week to visit my olds, and thanks to the headwind I struggled to get onto the large chainring! It must've knocked 10mph off of my usual speed.

    The thing I hate the most is the sound of wind in your ears, like listening to a hoover all day. I just find it really stressful. Thanks to cycling everyday I've lost 1.5 stone in 3 months - I'm only 10.5 stone now - and it feels like any crosswind would blow me over! Maybe a heavier bike would be more stable, but if there's strong winds I'll cycle indoors.
  • 25mph would be max for me and would seriously think twice if roads were wet.
    cant beat having a tailwind and thinking you could be a pro doing these speeds-then turn around to go home at crawling pace!!
  • carl_pcarl_p Posts: 989
    Crikey it was certainly windy today. The worst bit for me was a long hard headwind slog and then having to wait at the junction of a busy "A" road in an exposed area. My legs were tired and it was taking all my remaining strength just to stop from being blown over. Not nice. 20-25 mph is the max for me, beyond that there's no enjoyment.
    Specialized Venge S Works
    Cannondale Synapse
    Enigma Etape
    Genesis Flyer Single Speed


    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • I couldn't even go out today because of the winds. :shock:

    I almost got blow right on the pavement (when I was in primary), then when the wind bounced back off the buildings I slingshot right across to the other side, almost into parked cars. This was on a wee narrow one lane road.

    I was hoping that the winds would have died out by this morning, but they only got worse. :( And with me being the lightweight that I am I would almost certainly be dead. :?
  • surely if you go out in the wind its an even better training session ?
  • surely if you go out in the wind its an even better training session ?

    Until you get blown into the path of an oncoming car! Like a couple of you above, I go for a run when it's dangerously windy. Yesterday was just about my limit I think!
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,744
    I also hate the wind, would much rather hills despite being overweight. I guess the Dutch and Belgians train in the wind though without too many safety issues or they'd never get out! Explains why they tend to have such strong (and heavier) riders.
  • After encoiuntering strong winds gusting upto 40-mph ( apparently) Its bloody dangerous stuff. I twisted my knee after getting blown off my bike, got blown off the road once and came closer many nuerous occasions. It was also bloody scarey having to lean into the wind at what felt like a 45 degree angle gusting all over the place with driving rain and having cars overtake you on the other side of the road whilst praying that you didn't get blown into them or off your bike under one of them.

    Head winds are great cos it works you hard. Side winds are just risk taking with your own life. IMO
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I find it quite stimulating, and certainly a great workout, but I do stick to the quiet country roads so I'm not dicing with traffic. Yesterdays ride was excellent; headed out directly into the wind. Uphills twice as hard as normal, some downhills still having to pedal hard to make headway, sometimes hard to breathe. Once exhausted, brief spell with the gale coming from the right and trying to take my front wheel out from under me, then a return trip with a ferocious tailwind directly from behind. Spinning out on the downhills, flying along on the flats, and powering up hills like a pro. So exhilarating :D
  • Head winds are great cos it works you hard. Side winds are just risk taking with your own life. IMO

    Exactly. I'd quite happily do a whole ride into a straight headwind if that were possible; it'd be kind of like a poor man's windtunnel session. Unfortunately the weather isn't as well behaved as that, so like many posters above if it's 25mph+ then I'll go for a run instead. The worst wind I've experienced was on a ride in the Lakes - it was 'only' about 20mph in the valleys, but going over cols we got a whacking great venturi effect which was at least doubling that. Riding over the top of passes into that was nigh on impossible - unless the front wheel was absolutely dead-on into the wind you'd be into the verge before you could do anything about it. Kind of fun, but to try and do it with added traffic would extremely daft IMO.
  • Joe86Joe86 Posts: 180
    nasahapley wrote:
    Head winds are great cos it works you hard. Side winds are just risk taking with your own life. IMO

    Exactly. I'd quite happily do a whole ride into a straight headwind if that were possible; it'd be kind of like a poor man's windtunnel session. Unfortunately the weather isn't as well behaved as that, so like many posters above if it's 25mph+ then I'll go for a run instead. The worst wind I've experienced was on a ride in the Lakes - it was 'only' about 20mph in the valleys, but going over cols we got a whacking great venturi effect which was at least doubling that. Riding over the top of passes into that was nigh on impossible - unless the front wheel was absolutely dead-on into the wind you'd be into the verge before you could do anything about it. Kind of fun, but to try and do it with added traffic would extremely daft IMO.

    I too think constant 25 mph is probably a little too much, and gusts which are 35-40 probably alter your plans, and make you want to go for a run instead :D

    Went for a ride today, and it was probably the first head wind I had in the hills. Made it hard, and on a road I usually hit 30-35, I was lucky to hit 20 mph downhill. From the broadcast and inland wind speeds, I actually thought it would be pretty still today, so it was a surprise. Nonetheless, I didn't feel scared about falling off, or let it deter me from staying on the hills. And it can be nice going at almost double the speed up a false flat and 3-5% elevation :D
  • I nearly got swept away last week during a ride high up in the Pennines on a very exposed road. Was descending at 46mph from 1990ft - long gentle downhill plus nice tail wind - when a ferocious gust hit me side on. How I didn't career over the edge of the road and down the side of the valley, I don't know. It's always windy and exposed up here but that day was something else.

    For the number crunchers out there, I can normally cover that ride at around 18.5mph but the wind slowed me to 14.5mph average. On a long flat section across the tops into the wind, I was averaging 12.5mph instead of my normal 21mph and on the way home with a tailwind, I was climbing a long 10% incline at around 19mph instead of my normal 12-13mph!!
  • Joe86Joe86 Posts: 180
    surely if you go out in the wind its an even better training session ?

    Until you get blown into the path of an oncoming car! Like a couple of you above, I go for a run when it's dangerously windy. Yesterday was just about my limit I think!

    This is something that I think is quite likely.

    Thought I would resurrect this thread and share my slightly foolish and frustrated choice to go out today in winds of 35-40 and 40-50 mph gusts. After weeks of windy and wet weather, and only 2 rides in a few weeks, I thought I would 'risk and test out' the windy weather and see if I kept to low ground it might be ok. As I had only ventured out once before in that kind of wind, and found the rural areas safer. I was going well along the seafront, after taking a hammering at a strong headwind, I came back home and averaged about 30 mph haha, but as I turned into a rural area suddenly out of no where I got smashed by a heavy side gust, blown 5 metres off course, into the opposing lane and right into the path of oncoming traffic. God knows how I avoided getting hit, and it was lucky there were only a few cars 20-30 m away, otherwise I could have been really smashed. Managed to unclip and quickly pull my bike into the pavement. Then a massive down pour came, and I couldn't even walk my bike as I was getting blown around. I had a family member's house just across the road, so I had a lucky escape.

    I will definitely not be risking it again, as you all need is to go down a road where an unpredictable side gust happens, and you are either blown over, pushed into the curb, pushed into the line of traffic, or like I had, pushed right into the other lane. It just isn’t worth the chance!!
  • Steve_b77Steve_b77 Posts: 1,680
    It is scary on the road, not s bad off-road though.

    Am I right in what I heard that as road speed doubles wind resistance increases by "square", if so it's gonna be bloody hard work at the moment
  • mkirbymkirby Posts: 365
    i used to go out in the wind until one day i came over a bridge with high sides. Just as i got to the end a huge gust hit me and blew me straight into the middle of the other lane. At the same time the motorbike trying to overtake me censored himself as he swerved into the verge (after giving me plenty of room) with his handle bar about 2 inches from me.

    He stopped as soon as he could to check i was ok, dont know who was more scared. Scared the censored out of me and i never go out in the wind or down that road again. Get a trainer and ride indoors, best money i ever spent.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    I used to ride whatever the weather but that was when I was younger, more determined and a regular commuter. Now I have the choice I don't bother going out if it's very windy; not only because it's dangerous (which it is only sometimes) but mostly because it just isn't so much fun.

    People bandy about wind velocities often quoting speeds up to 40 and 50mph. Obviously the wind does sometimes get up to those levels but not as often as you'd think. Speeds of 20/25 mph are plenty to make riding unpleasant and even lower speeds can make it harder than you'd think.

    Wind is a key feature of 2 other activities I've been involved in - sailing and model flying. Having made an anemometer for a sailing club and owning a handheld one I bought out of curiosity I soon discovered that wind speed is almost always exaggerated, often to a great extent.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • AirwaveAirwave Posts: 483
    You should try riding the 7miles along the promenade between Bournemouth&Poole against the wind.It's like being in a wind tunnel then some.I've got a handheld Anemometor&the last week the wind been 30mph gusting over 40mph regualy.On the top of the cliffs 50mph+.The inshore forcast has'nt been below 6-gale8 since last Tuesday.For the last 4 days it's been 7-9 occ storm10 - t'windy!! :cry:
  • Commuting home last night i nearly got blown into the curb then a bus came past and i was struggling to keep it straight, i was that concerned i walk the rest off the way.

    It is a lot easier to ride a mountain bike in wind gusts i think its probably due to the extra leverage you get from the wide bars
  • Only time i fear the wind is the dark, unfortunately my commute is in the dark and is my main ride, my lungs are guna fall out by christmas if i don't sort me censored out soon :(
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    Apart from the getting blown all over the place, it feels like it anyway, I find the biggest thing is the noise in your ears, gives me a headache that I don't need.
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    I can recommend the met office website which gives fairly good wind forecasts, with the gusts also shown. The only downside of this is that one get fairly demoralised looking at a week's forecast and seeing nothing below 25mph and 35mph gusts :(
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    always ride out into the wind and back with it behint you. swaves going too far out and on tired legs it heps you home.
  • I to am from south coast, I have been commuting for the 1st three days of this week as I have just bought a new bike and want to look keen to my other half, but after riding 6 miles each way, It's been great going ( except for the flash floods)but coming home has been a nightmare with the wind & rain. I have resorted to commuting down an old farm road home to try and avoid traffic as much as possible. I will be going to spin classes till it dies down.
  • raymcraymc Posts: 38
    I too have been blown to a virtual standstill in the high winds. Agree with others about headaches from wind ringing in your ears- my solution cotton wool in the ears, works well. :lol:
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    Did the SRS Sportive out of Burgess Hill today, was doing the middle 50mph route, but what with the wet roads, standing water, and ferocious cross-winds on exposed sections I was seriously scared - aborted & did the 30 mph route, successfully, but frankly not worth taking you rlife in your hands with those kind of winds - I live in Worthing so used to daily winds & have no issue normally, but gusts like we've had for the last 2 months, forget it !
    My knees hurt !
  • Takis61 wrote:
    Did the SRS Sportive out of Burgess Hill today, was doing the middle 50mph route, but what with the wet roads, standing water, and ferocious cross-winds on exposed sections I was seriously scared - aborted & did the 30 mph route, successfully, but frankly not worth taking you rlife in your hands with those kind of winds - I live in Worthing so used to daily winds & have no issue normally, but gusts like we've had for the last 2 months, forget it !

    Those were pretty quick routes (30mph/50 mph). Well done :wink:
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