Wind...

Schoie81
Schoie81 Posts: 749
edited September 2013 in Road beginners
I was out on the bike last night in the wind (and rain) - 18mph winds and 25-30mph gusts. Not nice, but not too bad when its in your face, but I found last night that crosswinds are horrendous. I was on a quite exposed stretch of road, started down a hill, road turns slightly to the left and as I go around the corner i'm hit directly from the left with a strong gust of wind. It blew me right across the road and I struggled to fight against it to get back on the right side of the road and stay there. Luckily it was a very quiet road and nothing was coming in either direction - but the 'what if' knocked my confidence a bit.

Anyone got any tips for riding safely in strong winds?
"I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"

Comments

  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,542
    Avoid busy roads in strong winds, getting buffeted sideways with vehicles regularly passing you is not good. Anticipate gaps in hedges etc. that offer some shelter from the wind and be prepared to lean into the win when you pass them. Keep a low profile. If you are commuting try to avoid a rucksack, especially a large one, on your back. Keep your hands on the bars and if you do get caught by a gust try not to panic and use your body weight to get you back on track.
  • Yeah, I noticed the thing with gaps in hedges and walls - and more worryingly this morning, when lorries pass - you're trying to brace against the wind and then a lorry overtakes you and suddenly there's no wind - I can see how easily you could end up under the wheels. :shock:

    I've ridden on plenty of windy days before, but in the past i've been on my MTB, which seems to cope better, not sure if its the wider tyres or the weight of the bike (although my MTB is only 6kg heavier than my road bike - is that enough to make a difference?). Last night it seems as though it was blowing from all over the place, no consistent wind, every time it blew it was from a different direction, so I just didn't know what to expect next!

    I do commute on the bike, but I drive to work in the car in the morning, then cycle home at night and back in the next morning, so I leave everything I need at the office and only take home what i'm wearing so I never ride carrying a bag.

    I think your last point was my problem last night, it was the first time it happened and I definitely panicked, firstly that something might be coming the other way or overtaking me, and secondly that I was going to get blown off the bike completely. After that I took the decision to take a shorter route home and get out of the wind, but when I got to that road, I rode past as usual - I never know when to give in!!
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    At least in Britain you get loads of practice of riding in the wind :D
  • The road bike is probably worse because you are travelling so much faster when you get blown and the steering is more responsive. You just have to try and be as aware as you can, its usually so much worse when it catches you off guard.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    I tried cycling across the Severn Bridge in high winds once. Cross winds too. I cycled very slowly and focussed very hard on not coming off (the path that is, not the bridge itself).

    Basic premise was, slow the hell down.

    If you think high winds are bad, try high winds combined with torrential rain.

    To nick a phrase off someone else, high winds and rain turn the unfunnometer up to max.
  • djm501 wrote:
    If you think high winds are bad, try high winds combined with torrential rain.

    Oh it is was tipping it down last night! Was blowing the rain at me so hard it felt like hail. I'm used to the rain though, doesn't bother me too much. Obviously I much prefer a nice warm sunny day with a gentle breeze, but the rain doesn't worry me. Its just that I prefer my bike with the rubber bits at the bottom and me at the top, and the wind last night was trying to rearrange that somewhat!

    It did quickly dawn on me that slowing down helped, but then I started getting frustrated that I was going so slow. But I guess its still faster than if I'm upside down in the verge...
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • Schoie81 wrote:
    Anyone got any tips for riding safely in strong winds?

    Experience and anticipation really, get to know how your bike reacts, how gaps in hedges affect things, how wind behaves around big buildings in your locale and then learn to anticipate these things when you're riding.
    In general though, as mentioned above, if in doubt, slow down. :¬)
    Music, beer, sport, repeat...
  • djm501 wrote:
    I tried cycling across the Severn Bridge in high winds once. Cross winds too. I cycled very slowly and focussed very hard on not coming off (the path that is, not the bridge itself).

    Basic premise was, slow the hell down.

    If you think high winds are bad, try high winds combined with torrential rain.

    To nick a phrase off someone else, high winds and rain turn the unfunnometer up to max.
    I'll see your torrential rain and raise you horizontal hail stones!
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    edited September 2013
    Schoie81 wrote:
    djm501 wrote:
    If you think high winds are bad, try high winds combined with torrential rain.

    Oh it is was tipping it down last night! Was blowing the rain at me so hard it felt like hail. I'm used to the rain though, doesn't bother me too much. Obviously I much prefer a nice warm sunny day with a gentle breeze, but the rain doesn't worry me. Its just that I prefer my bike with the rubber bits at the bottom and me at the top, and the wind last night was trying to rearrange that somewhat!

    It did quickly dawn on me that slowing down helped, but then I started getting frustrated that I was going so slow. But I guess its still faster than if I'm upside down in the verge...

    It depends on how far you are going. in December I did my first hundred miler in weather like that. Riding through Newport for about half an hour into storm force winds and continuous battering rain was not much fun at all. Especially as it was towards the end of the ride so I was knackered.
    More fool me for trying something like that in December of course :D

    I don't particularly care about rain and wind on a commute either. But cycling for hours in those conditions is horrible.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    At least horizontal hailstones don't soak you through and give you hypothermia - they just bounce off - kids stuff ;)
  • Well i'm off attempting 40miles+ tonight after work and it looks as though its going to be windy again - so I guess i'll be gaining a little more experience!
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,542
    djm501 wrote:
    Riding through Newport was not much fun at all.

    Fixed that.