Stupid Wind

Manc33
Manc33 Posts: 2,157
edited April 2013 in Road beginners
Just set off planning to go up Snake Pass (to the top and back home, about 26 miles) and I got about 3 miles into it and ended up turning back home again. The wind makes cycling absolutely pointless some days. Today was one of those days. I had to continually keep on gearing down to 32F/32R which is basically a 1:1 gear on just normal hills like a 8% or 10% incline, hills I normally blast up at 12 MPH I was crawling up at 6 MPH.

Wow I only actually rode 6.5 miles in total but it was harder than a 20 mile ride on a non windy day.

The point I turn back is when I realize I can't get my breath back and my legs are going solid.

One thing though... it was a bloody fast ride back home! It probably took me something like 25 minutes to go 3.25 miles "there" and about 7 minutes coming back again. I was pretty much doing 24 MPH all the way back. :lol:

Which got me thinking - how much does wind affect you? With me it makes a quick 5 mile ride harder than a 20 mile ride with no wind.

Lets say you ride for 5 miles with no wind, 0 MPH.

Lets say a 5 MPH headwind starts up... what distance does that 5 miles become in terms of actual effort needed? I mean you could say "Its the same as doing 8 miles" and if the headwind was 10 MPH "Its the same as doing 20 miles" I mean is there any way of knowing this?

You could say "You need to put in X% more effort" but I would rather work it out in terms of "projected distance".

Something like:

5 miles @ 0 MPH wind = 5 miles
5 miles @ 3 MPH wind = 6 miles
5 miles @ 4 MPH wind = 8 miles
5 miles @ 5 MPH wind = 11 miles
5 miles @ 7 MPH wind = 15 miles
5 miles @ 9 MPH wind = 19 miles
5 miles @ 10 MPH wind = 23 miles

The thing is I seemed to be even more knackered from it than that, but I did 6.5 miles... feels more like quadruple the distance. For 32 minutes I was trying like hell and getting nowhere, constantly gearing down. I was sweating for England when I got back home... compare that to yesterday where I did 10 miles (exact same route) and was nowhere near as exhausted. So I know from that, todays ride @ 6.5 miles was probably like doing 25 miles in no wind. I averaged 12.5 MPH yesterday (no wind) and 12 MPH today (in wind). So my average wasn't bad (for me lol) but it took HELL effort to do it.

Wind takes all the fun out of it.

Oh well it probably means warmer weather is on its way. 8)
«1

Comments

  • Cleat Eastwood
    Cleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    totally agree - the rides seem harder and longer - even getting on the drops doesn help much - tailwinds I can live with- me and strava love them :lol:
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    A few years back, after a club 25 mile time trial, one of the riders was moaning, to pretty much anyone who would listen, that the wind was really bad out there. Finally someone got tired of listening to it and told him "Hey, same wind for everyone".
    In other words he was telling him to shut up, we were all out there and we know how bad the wind was.
  • A KIRK
    A KIRK Posts: 64
    Not nice riding in the wind, certainly makes it hard work, I thought today was ok, then on my way upto Box Hill this morning it hit me, still not sure where the wind came from, but it didn't help, then again nor did the wind from my ass, but thats another story. Sometimes you just have to get on with it, and make the best of the situation
    2010 GT Series 4 ultegra wheels & brakes
    2008 Claud Butler hard tail not very original any more
  • herb71
    herb71 Posts: 253
    I don't know the physics, but it can be mentally tough. I have a perception of how fast I should be going for a given effort, but on windy days you grind along putting in a huge effort, and the scenery crawls past.

    Give me a hill over a headwind anyday. At least you feel you are getting somewhere for your effort.
  • I, like many, don't particularly like head winds. But I find side winds more troublesome because it can often feel like you're going to be blown off the bike, especially on descents. Plus the extra effort required when riding into a head wind feels quite rewarding, although if it gets really bad I'm cursing inside!
  • Manc33
    Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    edited April 2013
    I was on a road bike, but I swapped the drops for straight bars, doesn't help. :lol:

    Now its like some sort of hybrid road bike with MTB gearing and bars. It has had the 700x25 Marathon Plus added and well, its perfected as a go anywhere bike for me, it can easily handle light trails on those tyres, but its reasonably fast on the road at the same time. Having no suspension on the front hasn't bothered me one bit. Yeah I have to avoid potholes and those dodgy grids that for some reason have the slats going horizontally to the kerb, but its only the same potholes I would avoid on a MTB anyway.

    Plus the fact that today I had a huge XXL jacket on and I am a M or L at the most, making me double the width I actually am.

    I think a farm girl heard me muttering aggressively under my breath "What is the point of this!" :oops:
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    I think headwinds are really hard and has been said your in a granny gear going silly slow.Some one told me once headwinds build character,well if that,s the case it,s turned mine into that of a swearing,cursing and grumpy one.
    Head winds are gods way of saying,stay in bed.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • Manc33
    Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    elderone wrote:
    I think headwinds are really hard and has been said your in a granny gear going silly slow.Some one told me once headwinds build character,well if that,s the case it,s turned mine into that of a swearing,cursing and grumpy one.
    Head winds are gods way of saying,stay in bed.

    I have said a thousand times I would rather be getting absolutely soaked than face a headwind.

    In fact I think I would rather have chavs throwing stones at me than face a headwind.

    I can't even imagine what Snake Pass must be like today. It is windy up there when its still at the foot of it so today hmmmm, too dangerous.

    The main thing is I got my exercise in which was all I went out for. I just didn't envisage it to be that much exercise. It was more closer to HIIT than anything. You know its "too tough" if you're in a granny gear and trying to ease off, but easing off would mean you going 4 MPH... and your legs are turning solid. :roll:
  • Muffintop
    Muffintop Posts: 296
    /[petulant and grumbly]I hate the wind and I never seem to feel the benefit of a tail wind either - I think it's an evil myth perpetuated by those faster than me to make me feel bad for being slow cos yeh, I'm intentionally not trying.

    Mx
    [end petulant and grumbly]/
    FCN: Brompton: 12, Tourer: 7, Racer: 4

    http://www.60milestonod.blogspot.com
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Yup I was doing my father jack impression today...

    I suppose the effect of going out day after day in strong cold winds like we have for weeks now makes us better at going out day after day and riding in strong cold winds...

    And then one day it won't be cold and it won't be windy...
  • farrina
    farrina Posts: 360
    Manc33 wrote:
    Wow I only actually rode 6.5 miles in total but it was harder than a 20 mile ride on a non windy day.
    The point I turn back is when I realize I can't get my breath back and my legs are going hard)

    Cycling (as with many other sports) is almost as much a mind game as a physical challenge. Whilst everyone has a physical limit, experience of many years and miles had taught me that the your physical limit is much higher than you might expect and having pushed the boundaries (both mental and physical) its amazing how far it benefits you in other aspect of your life.

    The real test comes when you are many miles from home and you don't have the option to turn back ....

    Happy cycling

    Regards

    Alan
    Regards
    Alan
  • Manc33
    Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    Yeah I was a bit miffed when I got back, because I wanted to be on the bike a lot longer than 32 minutes.

    Thing is why do my legs "go solid"? Is it like a muscle pump or something? Takes about 5 or 10 minutes to wear off.
  • Kieran_Burns
    Kieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    I normally have a headwind home on the commute (SW -> NE in and NE -> SW home) but obviously lately the complete opposite

    This morning: 49 knackered mins in, 42 easy mins home on a 12 mile commute. Yep it makes a difference.
    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
  • duckson
    duckson Posts: 961
    Yep the wind was very hard work on my way home on Monday as i travel E - W and vice versa, crawled home, knackered;
    http://app.strava.com/activities/47862193
    Didnt help i'd done 42 miles the day before after not being on the bike for a month.

    Where as on the way in in the morning it was great (although about 5-10mph less wind speed than in the afternoon)!
    http://app.strava.com/activities/47862194
    Cheers, Stu
  • Guanajuato
    Guanajuato Posts: 399
    Nasty headwind up Shap Fell from Kendal yesterday. To the point where, on the descent from the summit to Shap village, a good 4-mile, 500ft descent with long sweeping bends and a good surface, I had to work hard to keep up around 20mph. And it wasn't just. The guy who went flying past me later on my loop was only marginally quicker, whilst setting Strava top 10 sections elsewhere.
    Thing was, when I was heading in the opposite direction down the Lune gorge, it seemed to be a headwind too.
  • sancho_uk
    sancho_uk Posts: 141
    Am I odd then?

    I quite like the challenge of a headwind (sometimes).. it all depends on the route planned and how far I have decided to push myself before setting out.

    Although it isnt exactly smiley time when you are doing it, for me its as good as getting up a big hill once you have ridden a fair stretch into a headwind.

    Obviously they become a proverbial pain in the backside if you have set out looking for PB / Sector times, but other than that surely they are good training for strength and mental attitude if nothing else?
    Focus Cayo 2.0 Ultegra 2012
  • pride4ever
    pride4ever Posts: 510
    Strong winds are the cyclists nemesis/thread.
    the deeper the section the deeper the pleasure.
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    pride4ever wrote:
    Strong winds are the cyclists nemesis/thread.

    I'm not so sure, sometimes i'll head out east enjoying the tailwind, but also love the grind back home into the teeth of the gale.

    I need to be in the right mood though - hence the "sometimes"
  • Does anyone else suffer from 'low' wind?

    I look out of my window and I'm surrounded by trees. When the tops of them are waving I know the wind is up and can prepare myself accordingly. Sometimes though, the treetops are still and I thinks to myself 'Ho hum, no wind, this should be a blast'.

    So off go, and then turning onto the long east-west road just outside my village and it's like stepping into a bloody wind tunnel. The treetops still aren't moving but there is most definitely a strong old breeze coming at me.

    Invisible wind. Who would have thought...
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,052
    Practically no wind this morning or this evening I didnt know what to do with myself, thankfully the wind picked up in the last 3 miles and normal service resumed.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck 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.
  • keith57
    keith57 Posts: 164
    Remember, the wind is your training buddy, it's always there.... :D
    http://www.fachwen.org
    https://www.strava.com/athletes/303457

    Please note: I’ll no longer engage deeply with anonymous forum users :D
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,052
    Like the taxman :evil:
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck 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.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490
    Treat the wind as your friend, it will make you work harder and get fitter. I've had some horrendous headwinds home from work lately that have left me struggling to keep 13mph on probably the flattest road in Wales but I'm feeling the benefit. Don't let it beat you mentally. The only time I really hate the wind is when racing, especially in time trials.
  • hannahk
    hannahk Posts: 19
    I don't think I will ever see the wind as "friend". The other week I was being blown all over the road and it was terrifying. Head or tail I can deal with but fluctuating cross winds are not cool!
  • Zendog1
    Zendog1 Posts: 816
    There isn't a simple answer to the op's question.

    See here for a complicated one http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/MartinD ... ycling.pdf
  • carl_p
    carl_p Posts: 989
    Well we don't have many hills in this part of the world, but wind we do have. 24 mph gusts tomorrow and horizontal rain first thing, nice.
    Specialized Venge S Works
    Cannondale Synapse
    Enigma Etape
    Genesis Flyer Single Speed


    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • pinkteapot
    pinkteapot Posts: 367
    Just did my first ever 40 mile ride and the last three miles I was going straight into the wind. According to the forecast, 20mph winds with gusts up to 35mph. I nearly had a little cry. :(
  • saprkzz
    saprkzz Posts: 592
    Just got back from a ride.. I did the same route this morning with a mate, which i did solo yesterday, 42 miles averaged 19.6mph yesterday and only 17.8mph today!! it felt like we were standing still at times!!

    As someone else mentioned i dont mind the wind, i see it as a good training aid, but the cross winds that sweep you across the orad can be a bit scary. I am glad I have sold my deep sectionn wheels, they were awful in the winds. :lol:
  • hannahk
    hannahk Posts: 19
    I was suprisingly thankful for the wind today. Went out way overdressed and was roasting within 10 minutes but too stubborn to turn home and shed some layers. The wind did help cool me down at times. I don't think I've actually done my regular ride without wind though.
  • pride4ever
    pride4ever Posts: 510
    Waaaay too windy to go out where I live, fence panels down again, ridiculous gales.
    the deeper the section the deeper the pleasure.