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Cross Wind Advice

imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
edited June 2015 in Road beginners
Got caught by some very strong and blustery cross winds in stratford this evening - at one point I could just not keep myself going in a straight line (luckily I had already checked there was nothing close and I was able to let the wind blow me across a bit)

So what's the best advice for two scenarios:
1. Once you find yourself already being pushed
2. When you know there is a chance and you want to be best prepared for when the cross wind hits


  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,944
    Preparation is key. If its a leisure ride, check the forecast and route your ride shielded from the prevailing wind as much as possible or simply do a out into wind and a return leg with the wind behind you.

    Understand what wind strength means to you and most importantly what is the expected gust strength? Sometimes its better to go for a run/walk or pull the covers over your head for another day. Only by riding in the wind will you establish whats your acceptable tolerance and others will offer their advice but we all have subjective levels of risk.

    Weather forecasts for wind strength a pretty accurate nowadays but it's always good to watch your surroundings, flags trees are great indicators but the best is cloud direction and speed.

    Alternatively the best advice I ever received was from a bike copper and that was to relax your shoulders and elbows. If you do get hit this helps mitigate the feedback into your front wheel.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • pipipipipipi Posts: 332
    It's one of those hindsight things!

    If you have checked the forecast then you will know to watch out for gusts.

    If you know the route you will know which areas are exposed.

    If you are reading the road then you might spot a break in the fence/tall trees and expect a gust.

    But it's something that still freaks me out on occasion when I'm not expecting it. My worst moments are when I'm descending quite fast, often in a wooded area and the tree line ends, the fields begin and normally I get buffeted by the wind! Advice from a fellow rider, which works well for me, is to stop pedalling and grip the top tube between both legs. This certainly seems to stabilise the bike for me. Once I feel the worst has passed and I've got things under control, get pedalling again.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,690
    i ride a fair bit in lanzarote, winds tends to be from steady to lethal, it develops survival technique!

    if the wind is also from ahead, get in a lower gear so you can keep cadence up, this reduces the chance of a big weave in a strong gust

    give yourself room on the inside, being driven into a kerb/ditch/barrier will not end well

    if necessary weave gently (on purpose) to make drivers aware the wind is affecting you, if the road is clear, ride down the middle and only pull over when someone approaches to pass

    be aware of the wind and look ahead for gaps/buildings/hedges/trees that could cause sudden variation, also watch out for lorries/coaches/etc., get low as you can and brace for the gusts/turbulence

    if you're descending on an exposed road, keep speed lower and take a conservative line through corners so that you have plenty of room for adjusting as the wind angle changes

    if it's a road with heavy trafic there's not much more you can do, but if it's just light traffic then i may stop and look for a long gap behind me so that i can use all the road without holding things up
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Thanks for all the responses. Being forewarned is definitely the most important factor that I can easily influence - I just need to think a bit more on the approaches to likely spots

    Looking on a map I can see that the wind was shooting along the River Lea and the popping up between the two high buildings that framed the junction (I was on the A118 the wind was on Wharton Street)
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    For me its all about being aware of what is around you. I live in Essex so we can get some pretty strong gusts across the flats out towards the coastline.

    I will ride more towards the middle of the road and as above try and predict where i may be exposed with gusts.

    i find myself leaning slightly into the wind which helps me keep straight and always prepare for the turbulent effect when a large sided vehicle passes
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0
  • mugensimugensi Posts: 558
    Something else to keep in mind is your clothing, a loose fitting jacket jersey acts like a sail in all wind conditions and so wearing race/tight fit clothing gives the wind less to get a hold on to blow you off course.
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    Don't be tempted to run deep section rims if you have them and as already said, be aware of breaks in hedges and buildings which can really surprise you. This can be really dangerous on fast decents, so ride in the middle of your lane if you can.
  • Pegasus2Pegasus2 Posts: 18
    I can only really echo others.

    Check the forcast and look out the window. No one wants to ride in anything above 20mph+, it's just not fun.

    You develop a sort of 6th sense. When going down a road you'll just spot gaps (usually gates to fields) in the tree line and wind disturbance across the road.

    I usually keep my body upright but let the bike lean into the gust, then gruadually bring it back upright. Works better at mid speeds tbh.

    You'll gain more stability by stopping pedaling, with the leeward pedal at the bottom of the stroke and placing some weight on it.

    Strogn core muscles will also help.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    DKay wrote:
    Don't be tempted to run deep section rims if you have them and as already said, be aware of breaks in hedges and buildings which can really surprise you. This can be really dangerous on fast decents, so ride in the middle of your lane if you can.
    What he said above lol and also if on a descent, keep knees tight into top tube to stop speed wobble
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