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What's the stongest wind you've ever cycled in

suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
edited March 2010 in Commuting chat
Last night whilst lying in bed unable to sleep the howling wind got me wondering. What's the strongest wind people have cycled in.

Would even the toughest of the tough think twice about cycling when there are 20mph winds blowing a blizzard (although thankfully not lying).
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  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    October '87 storm. Did my paper round in it. Exciting to say the least ;)
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    I think I had about 18mph headwinds over Marston Moor this weekend. I commute whatever the weather does and have often been brought down to less than 10mph in high winds. Usually it is a headwind though and that is just a case of MTFU - gusting sidewinds are a bit more of a bother.......
    Faster than a tent.......
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    suzyb wrote:
    Last night whilst lying in bed unable to sleep the howling wind got me wondering. What's the strongest wind people have cycled in.

    Would even the toughest of the tough think twice about cycling when there are 20mph winds blowing a blizzard (although thankfully not lying).
    You live about 20 miles from me I guess. The gusts were MUCH more than 20mph last night. Average was probably 25-30mph, in which case gusts were probably nearer 50mph.

    I've cycled in that sort of thing before. Not today though - snow forecast for the evening commute. Its not that bad in town, but I wouldn't recommend trying to cycle in deepest Lanarkshire in a storm.

    Worst experience for me was being caught out on the low slopes of Dartmoor in a storm. Sideways hail, fading light, front light chose that moment to fail entirely due to water ingress.
  • I once hit well over 50mph down a nice long dual carriage way on the bike... must have been a 30mph wind on my back easily at that point :lol:

    If the forecast says its going to be over 20mph and it looks like its gonna be accurate i normally dont take the risk. I have had some grindingly slow cycles home where the weather has turned on me during the day though where i am sure the wind was at least 20 if not much more
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    I once cycled out on a mates bike in a howling gale. Well it wasn't when I started but it got worse and worse.

    At a couple of points I was almost at a standstill and wondering what the hell I was doing out when I cycled into Willington (from Repton for those that know)

    I rounded a corner onto the main street into the village when there was this massive (and mean Godawful massive) crash from behind me.

    I turned round to look, to be greeted with the sight of a fully mature oak tree lying across the road I had just traversed. :shock: I missed it by seconds....

    That scared the living poo out of me and I decided I really should get home. Only problem was, there was this oak tree lying across the road....

    So I had to pop onto the A38 footpath and belt down there with what was now a tailwind. I swear I exceeded the speed limit! (amazing what fear and a massive tailwind can do for ones top speed)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • CompostCompost Posts: 63
    I live near the bottom of Holme Moss. I've been blown off my bike and off the road at varying times.

    The weirdest windy ride I've had was when I was descending Holme Moss into the wind: It was so strong I had to pedal to get down, whereas normally it's a hair raising 40mph descent!
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,961
    I also recall cycling in Oct 87, getting to work and wondering why all the lights were out.
  • I've cycled before when the wind speed is in the 20's; It was last night (headwind), and gusting even stronger. Worst thing about last night was the fact I had worn short-sleeves, and couldn't move my arms by the time I got in.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    Compost wrote:
    I live near the bottom of Holme Moss. I've been blown off my bike and off the road at varying times.

    The weirdest windy ride I've had was when I was descending Holme Moss into the wind: It was so strong I had to pedal to get down, whereas normally it's a hair raising 40mph descent!

    I've twice ridden from Blubberhouses to Bolton Abbey and I've had to pedal the long descent. It ought to be a fantastic high speed run (open views, no side turnings etc) but it never is!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • cambscambs Posts: 235
    50mph gusts. Was riding last year's Exmoor beast and at the top of Dunkery Beacon was getting washed from one side of the road to the other. Looked behind me to see everyone else was in the gutter on the wrong side of the road too.

    Really difficult. You had to watch for gaps in the hedges to spot where the next side-swipe was coming from. Luckily, other road traffic had stayed away otherwise the fear would have been greater.
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Hi,
    I don't know the strongest, but my favorite windy-day story tells of the time I was riding home through Edinburgh in my student days. It was blowing a hoolie, as they say, and I found myself able to freewheel up Johnston Terrace- the steep hill that leads from Castle Terrace at the west end of the Grassmarket up the castle rock to the Lawn Market, at the top of the Royal Mile...

    Cheers,
    W.
  • I have a rule that I dont cycle if the winds are over 50mph it just too dangerous! I got sense after years of standing up on the pedals trying to get the bike to move into a headwind. Its just for self preservation though as when commuting you dont motorists dont leave you a lot of room to be blown out from the kerb! :(

    There was snow this morning and the mountain bike is sick so I had to take public transport to work. Skinny tyres and slicks in snow isn't a good idea!
  • bikejonbikejon Posts: 12
    Two rides come to mind for me. One was a time trial in Milton Keynes in October 1992. I don't know what the wind speed was but I clocked 40 mph on the flat shortly after the start and rounded the first roundabout at 38 mph! Makes me wonder what the winner clocked.....!
    I recall doing another ride with a centre of excellence divisional team the following winter. The team was packed full of talented bike riders, such as Simon Bray, Rob Hayles, Dave Rand, Danny Axford, Rob Hurd and we were battling very strong winds near the New Forest. We managed to find a pan flat road where the tarmac we were riding on was the highest point for seemingly miles around. We had the bikes leaned right over (as if cornering) just to counter the cross headwind! We had to split into echelons but it was that hairy we only dared have three riders per echelon! I remember my mate (and top sprinter), Lee Garner, heading the first echelon deciding to change to the big ring and go for it. Our speed rocketed up to 8 mph (even in that company)! LOL
  • risirisi Posts: 231
    cambs wrote:
    50mph gusts. Was riding last year's Exmoor beast and at the top of Dunkery Beacon was getting washed from one side of the road to the other. Looked behind me to see everyone else was in the gutter on the wrong side of the road too.

    Really difficult. You had to watch for gaps in the hedges to spot where the next side-swipe was coming from. Luckily, other road traffic had stayed away otherwise the fear would have been greater.

    Yup. I did this too. Saw a few people getting blown off the road but managed not to myself despite having quite a large surface area to expose to the wind. Some bits, particularly along the coast road to Lynmouth, could have been quite nasty if there was more traffic around. After the feed stop in Simonsbath was good though as the route turned back and the wind was behind you.
    Specialized Allez
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  • SplottboySplottboy Posts: 4,208
    Took a train from the Smoke to Hungerford, then rode queit roads, lanes and canal track to Bath/Bristol over 2 days.

    Picked the worst windy weekend of the year, trees falling over everywhere! DOH!

    Don't know the strength of the wind, but constant and bloody hard...
  • Fireblade96Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    On a motorbike tour in Belgium (a country not noted for its sheltering landscape features) I remember riding along a straight road with the bike leant over at 30-40 degrees to counter the wind. I thought it was hilarious, my pillion was less impressed.
    Misguided Idealist
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    cambs wrote:
    50mph gusts. Was riding last year's Exmoor beast and at the top of Dunkery Beacon was getting washed from one side of the road to the other. Looked behind me to see everyone else was in the gutter on the wrong side of the road too.

    Really difficult. You had to watch for gaps in the hedges to spot where the next side-swipe was coming from. Luckily, other road traffic had stayed away otherwise the fear would have been greater.
    That's why I don't intend going out today...well that plus the rain. Don't like wind + rain, never have probably never will.

    But the main road today would just be deadly as it has large open fields on both sides.
  • mudcoveredmudcovered Posts: 725
    suzyb wrote:
    Would even the toughest of the tough think twice about cycling when there are 20mph winds blowing a blizzard (although thankfully not lying).

    20mph or greater winds, done that on several occasions. Blizzards not so often but that's cause I live in the sunny south west. ;)

    I'm quite adept at wind compensation from a crosswinds perspective as people say you have to look at where the gaps between buildings and hedges are. Some extra weight is an advantage here as you don't get blown around so much.

    What i really don't like is putting in the effort for >20mph into a headwind and actually going about 5mph. :cry: This is especially true in my commute when I tend to be riding against the wind on the way home. For some reason the wind is never blowing that strongly on the way in. ;)

    Mike
  • gert_lushgert_lush Posts: 634
    I was cycling down a place called "windy valley" in Tibet last year, no idea how strong the headwind actually was but we were cycling downhill and I was in the granny ring pedaling hard and really struggling to get 4mph!!!! :shock: :shock: It was the craziest wind I have ever known
    FCN 8 mainly
    FCN 4 sometimes
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,287
    Southern Patagonia. I don't know what the wind speed was but it was very difficult to even stand. Cycling was very nearly impossible and at times extremely dangerous. We only kept going because we were out of water (the three rivers marked on the map had dried up!).
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    If the beech tree over the road is making a noise like a jet engine then I skip the bike commute and take the car

    This hasn't happened this year
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    bikejon wrote:
    Two rides come to mind for me. One was a time trial in Milton Keynes in October 1992. I don't know what the wind speed was but I clocked 40 mph on the flat shortly after the start and rounded the first roundabout at 38 mph! Makes me wonder what the winner clocked.....!
    I recall doing another ride with a centre of excellence divisional team the following winter. The team was packed full of talented bike riders, such as Simon Bray, Rob Hayles, Dave Rand, Danny Axford, Rob Hurd and we were battling very strong winds near the New Forest. We managed to find a pan flat road where the tarmac we were riding on was the highest point for seemingly miles around. We had the bikes leaned right over (as if cornering) just to counter the cross headwind! We had to split into echelons but it was that hairy we only dared have three riders per echelon! I remember my mate (and top sprinter), Lee Garner, heading the first echelon deciding to change to the big ring and go for it. Our speed rocketed up to 8 mph (even in that company)! LOL

    Even the top pros suffer.
    I remember Robbie McEwen complaining that he could only muster 18mph on the flat during a TdF TT a few years back
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,686
    could only manage an avg of 14mph this evening thanks to the 31mph headwind, still not the strongest - hence the 'Windshire' location.

    http://www.xcweather.co.uk/
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    mudcovered wrote:
    For some reason the wind is never blowing that strongly on the way in. ;)

    General trend for winds to be onshore in the morning and offshore in the evening - so, if you head towards the sea in the morning, your suspicion that life is unfair is justified!

    Of course, those who work more inland than they live have tailwinds all the time and shouldn't really count their miles at all - they are no better than moped riders :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • lukasranlukasran Posts: 53
    any one ride the tour of the pennines last october? tremendous wind as demonstrated here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y27G4jr7asc
    felt strange going through and off in a group at a light jogging pace, everyone was reduced to futile laughter as the slow train trundled past and they "jumped" on the back.
  • 700 7 °C WSW 38 mph 56 mph Very Good
    1000 6 °C WSW 35 mph 46 mph Very Good
    1300 6 °C W 30 mph 43 mph Good
    1600 6 °C W 29 mph 45 mph Very Good
    1900 6 °C W 28 mph 41 mph Very Good
    Night 2 °C W 26 mph 39 mph Excellent
  • that's tomorrows forecast!
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    that's tomorrows forecast!

    censored !
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    '87 storm for me (which was not a actually a hurricane as Mr Fish correctly stated).

    I had a seven mile cycle ride to get to work at 5am.

    I turned round after I had gotton blown off twice after about half a mile.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    having a bike thats made out of pig iron, the bike is not worried by wind, ie doesn't get pushed around like my other nicer bikes, the catch though is it's rather set up like a sailing ship, so it's hard old work, always a head wind...

    but doesn't feel unsafe at least from being blown off line etc.
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