Riding in strong winds.

RandG
RandG Posts: 779
edited April 2013 in Road general
Is there really any point ?

I went out tonight cause I really need to get some mileage in for an upcoming sportive but I'm not entirely sure there was any point to it. Headwind was torture, tail wind was freewheeling and side winds were fecking dangerous.

So did I gain anything from doing 27ish miles in these conditions ?

Comments

  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    As long as it was not dangerous & you were safe and in control think you would see a benefit from riding into the wind due to harder effort required. Riding with a tail wind is just like a pro doing moto pacing so your riding at a higher speed than you could normally achieve.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    Headwinds are perfect training - think multi km up hills, only on the flat.

    Headwinds followed by tailwinds, again perfect, think interval training.

    Side winds, ok scarey, but can you guarantee on the day of your sportive that it will be mill pond calm? No, then the side winds are good practice.

    I would say, "thank you wind", and get out there!
  • RandG
    RandG Posts: 779
    Being a newbie to the sport I did think this is good training, but feck me it was hard work, Think I need to MTFU :lol:
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    RandG wrote:
    Being a newbie to the sport I did think this is good training, but feck me it was hard work, Think I need to MTFU :lol:

    Just take it easy with the cross winds, not trying to teach you how to ride but make sure you are positioned in a nice positive placement in the road.

    Side wind comes in & pushes you towards the curb you should have enough room to control this, if it comes and pushes you out with a good road position any cars will need to give you room to pass as they won't be able to squeeze you to the curb to fit you and them in the same lane.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    RandG wrote:
    Being a newbie to the sport I did think this is good training, but feck me it was hard work, Think I need to MTFU :lol:

    It's an attitude thing I think.

    I get perverse pleasure from suffering in order to overcome adversity... and a strong head wind is just that (especially if you had a nice tail wind behind you on the ride out, then turn back into a gale!)

    Side winds, especially gusty ones are just nasty - however you look at them. but as has been said they can be made less dangerous if you are familiar with them.
  • Buckie2k5
    Buckie2k5 Posts: 600
    whatever you do dont plan your ride so you have a nice tail wind on the way home as every time i tried it ive had headwind out and back lol
  • raymondo60
    raymondo60 Posts: 735
    My (18 mile) commute last night was one of the toughest I can remember for quite a while, thanks to the constant headwind. It actually added about 10 minutes to my journey time (riding a single-speed) - I was well knackered when I got home. However, as part of my training for a 100-mile 'hilly' sportive next weekend, it was brilliant!
    Raymondo

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • dandrew
    dandrew Posts: 175
    I was riding at the Hillingdon circuit today. Stronger winds then normal. On lap 35 a storm broke with a sudden enormous gust and I got blown off the bike! Fortunately I fell on to the grass verge, no damage to me or the bike.
    Never experienced anything like it & glad it wasn't on a road!
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    RandG wrote:
    Being a newbie to the sport I did think this is good training, but feck me it was hard work, Think I need to MTFU :lol:

    Well you did a hell of a lot better than me chief. I gave it a swerve tonight after getting battered about on the way home from work :oops: I didn't fancy tackling the road to Errol, even if I did lose a whole bunch of KOM's to those Gowrie sods!

    Tomorrow evening the wind will drop and it's going to be lovely and sunny. It's to stay dry on Saturday too. But wind or no wind - keep going!
  • raymondo60
    raymondo60 Posts: 735
    Another thing about the wind. I was riding home last night (as above) and it was bloody epic - real 'stop you in your tracks' headwind, and every cyclist I saw was moaning too. However, when I stopped, like at a set of traffic lights (I do that you know) - NOTHING! Not a breeze, or a whisper even. The tree branches weren't moving or anything. Start cycling again and WHOOSH there's the wind right in your face again.

    Funny that
    Raymondo

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • WindyG
    WindyG Posts: 1,099
    First time this year I've been out on my road bike, after about 3 miles with the cross wind I was starting to think I had made a big mistake, only covered 13 miles but it felt like 3 times that, there were better riders than me out and they were struggling with it too.
  • moscowflyer
    moscowflyer Posts: 540
    Use the tailwinds to nail a few PRs/KOMs you wouldn't usually get and when going back in the headwind, see it as great resistance training even if you feel like crying because it's SO frustrating. What would you rather, be on a turbo bored out of your skull and struggling to turn the pedals on max resistance or burning those quads outside but actually moving?
  • RandG
    RandG Posts: 779
    It's to stay dry on Saturday too. But wind or no wind - keep going!

    Aye cheers, going out Sat morning, so try and hit the big 50 mark, which will be a first for me, but I'm running out of time....fast. :lol:
  • Ber Nard
    Ber Nard Posts: 827
    Raymondo60 wrote:
    Another thing about the wind. I was riding home last night (as above) and it was bloody epic - real 'stop you in your tracks' headwind, and every cyclist I saw was moaning too. However, when I stopped, like at a set of traffic lights (I do that you know) - NOTHING! Not a breeze, or a whisper even. The tree branches weren't moving or anything. Start cycling again and WHOOSH there's the wind right in your face again.

    Funny that

    When this happens it pisses me off no end.

    I hate the wind. I'll happily do several hours in the rain but if it's windy it's a real struggle to force myself out of the house.

    Rob
  • raymondo60
    raymondo60 Posts: 735
    Ber Nard wrote:
    Raymondo60 wrote:
    Another thing about the wind. I was riding home last night (as above) and it was bloody epic - real 'stop you in your tracks' headwind, and every cyclist I saw was moaning too. However, when I stopped, like at a set of traffic lights (I do that you know) - NOTHING! Not a breeze, or a whisper even. The tree branches weren't moving or anything. Start cycling again and WHOOSH there's the wind right in your face again.

    Funny that

    When this happens it pisses me off no end.

    I hate the wind. I'll happily do several hours in the rain but if it's windy it's a real struggle to force myself out of the house.

    Rob

    Trouble is I start doubting my sanity/fitness; like, is it 'really' that windy? Then why can't I feel/hear anything when I'm stationary? Then, why can't I cycle up this mild incline without getting out of the saddle and pushing like mad? Its a conundrum....
    Raymondo

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    Gotta love those headwinds, no pain no gain as they say, get out there and mash those pedals!
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
    Strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/1608875
  • peat
    peat Posts: 1,242
    Had to take a major detour on my commute home on Wednesday because of the wind. Riding on the exposed A road that i usually do became very difficult due to the 40mph gusts coming at me diagonally. I was having to ride very defensively to stop cars trying to squeeze past because i was all over the place. The driver's of course couldn't empathize because they are sat in a cozy glass bubble, however some managed to wind down their windows to shout 'encouragement' (i'm assuming, right?)to me when they finally got passed. (I sort of understand, it was almost solid traffic coming in the opposite direction...)

    So, at the earliest opportunity, i got off into the lanes to seek shelter and minimal traffic. Added 6 miles, but hey, it wasn't cold or wet. And yes, i was knackered when i got back. Good training.

    Not a breath of wind this weekend down here, i expect to be breaking PB's!
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Best moment of the day - coming home along the Balbeggie road (straight, slightly downhill, perfectly aligned with the wind, 200m up and exposed) at 45mph - and at one point I felt the wind on my back :shock: .
    I had earned it in the morning though, opting to go in via the hill at Kilspindie - the first time this year I've hauled my unfit and overweight carcase up it, I'll swear the wind made it a 50% bigger hill.
  • mattythemod
    mattythemod Posts: 289
    Well i live on the coast where the wind always feels " stronger " and went out for a 50 mile ride yesterday , the first 23 miles were into a strong headwind and were an absoloute killer but the last part of the ride home with a tailwind put a huge smile on my face once i got home .I guess its makes you a stronger rider not to mention the satisfaction of knowing you overcome some crap condtions !No Pain No Gain !!!!
  • kettrinboy
    kettrinboy Posts: 613
    My 21 mile ride yesterday was worth the struggle into 25-30 mph headwinds, after 45 mins of pain the run back was at warp factor 11, picked up 3 KOM,s and a 4th overall on Strava, the 40- 50 mph gusts of wind on the outrun were so strong that at one point i had to drop onto the 30t granny ring just to keep going forwards on the flat.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Yup, me to... In places I was doing 7mph in granny ring on the flat. Pretty much had my feet up on the way back didn't need to pedal at all. Have a heavy cold too so not feeling to brill but got the miles in ...
  • zardoz
    zardoz Posts: 251
    RandG wrote:
    Is there really any point ?

    I went out tonight cause I really need to get some mileage in for an upcoming sportive but I'm not entirely sure there was any point to it. Headwind was torture, tail wind was freewheeling and side winds were ******* dangerous.

    So did I gain anything from doing 27ish miles in these conditions ?

    Well it might be similar conditions on the day of your sportive.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Buckie2k5 wrote:
    whatever you do dont plan your ride so you have a nice tail wind on the way home as every time i tried it ive had headwind out and back lol

    Wise words. People say you should go out into the headwind so you have it easy on the way back rather than accidentally getting blown 50 miles downwind at 30mph and then having to do the return at 8mph! Always take the tailwind when you can - you never know, if the wind changes you might get it on the way home too!

    One thing I noticed yesterday on my commute. After weeks of freezing Easterlies, I come to the conclusion that Westerlies are harder. My route is more downhill in the morning to the East and the Easterlies slow that a bit but make up for it on the way home. Somehow, the Westerlies often hinder me as much as help me on the way in but on the way home they are relentless and horrible! It shouldn't be like that.....
    Faster than a tent.......
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    Doubt I was getting 50mph winds, but they felt painful enough, but refused to give in and managed to churn out a 16mph average over my 10mile commute.

    Now as I sit here eating my porridge my legs are hurting. A lot.
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
    Strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/1608875
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    With the SW wind I get blown to work and then have to work against it coming home again - I just tell myself that I'll take it easy going home - don't worry about pushing it at all - but I do ensure I make the most of passing vehicles ;)

    Side winds are ok, but not when it's gusty and there have been some huge gusts over the last few days, you need more space with the gusts so don't be afraid to ride further into the road - if you wobble about a bit you may get a bit of driver sympathy too! ;)
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    The big problem with living in a valley is that when its windy the wind blows in all directions. That said it only causes a problem if you are chasing PR on strava etc.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    bompington wrote:
    Best moment of the day - coming home along the Balbeggie road (straight, slightly downhill, perfectly aligned with the wind, 200m up and exposed) at 45mph - and at one point I felt the wind on my back :shock: .
    I had earned it in the morning though, opting to go in via the hill at Kilspindie - the first time this year I've hauled my unfit and overweight carcase up it, I'll swear the wind made it a 50% bigger hill.

    :-)
  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    Raymondo60 wrote:
    Ber Nard wrote:
    Raymondo60 wrote:

    Trouble is I start doubting my sanity/fitness; like, is it 'really' that windy? Then why can't I feel/hear anything when I'm stationary? Then, why can't I cycle up this mild incline without getting out of the saddle and pushing like mad? Its a conundrum....

    I know the feeling. Last night I went out. Planned to attack a 30 mile loop . Had ridden a steady 60 miles the day before but I felt of and as soon as I got on the bike I felt confident of a decent effort. The first 20 or so miles were just great. I really felt I was riding well and pushing on a bit harder than I normally do. To the extent were I felt I might even set some PBs on Strava. However, as soon as I turned back for home I hit the headwind. Not massively strong but very noticeable - I went from flying to crawling. My splits were as follows

    5 miles splits (mins.secs)
    16.23
    17.20
    14.19
    16.33
    20.30
    20.04

    Whats so annoying is when you can't even see the tree's moving but you feel you are battling a hurricane. Still I am sure its doing me good!
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I tend to do a local loop first so I can get a feel for the conditions and head off in an appropriate direction... I like to head out into the wind and stroll back