Windy commuting: what are your limits?

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Pseudacris
Participant
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How much wind is too much? Any special traffic/trail tips for commuting in windy conditions?

I bussed in this morning after hearing warnings of 35-50 mph gusts. Now I feel ripped off since they seem not to have materialized. Now that I have good rain gear, riding home last night was surprisingly fun. Can I conquer wind next?


rsprake
Participant
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When they start warning you on the news about the dangers of the wind chill.


spakbros
Participant
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The only minute issue in my mind is that really strong winds can actually move you left to right pretty quick so there is some added danger of getting pushed into an open door or passing vehicle?


superletour
Participant
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Yeah, the wind can really move you around, especially if you’re riding on hipstery deep-section wheels like I am. Days like today I just try to be a lot more alert, i.e. both hands on the handlebars at all times. I’ve never had a gust of wind blow me so far in one direction that I felt in danger, but it’s scary to think what might happen if you weren’t paying attention, grabbing a water bottle, etc.


the beast
Participant
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+1 try to be a lot more alert, i.e. both hands on the handlebars at all times.

Crossing the HPB in windy conditions always makes me a bit nervous. I fight to lean a bit left so the wind will not blow me into the barrier, but when the wind suddenly dies down you need to be prepared to shift weight quickly and not be thrown into traffic…


brian j
Participant
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The only time wind really, really scares me is when crossing bridges. Some of my scariest moments on the bike have been crossing the 62nd Street Bridge in high (40+ mph gusts) winds.

It was fairly windy this morning, but I didn’t experience any big gusts.


the beast
Participant
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oh, and to answer the original question…after deciding to drive rather than bike based on forecasts that never materialized in the past, I have decided to ride no matter what and if conditions seem unsafe I will either pull over for a bit to let it pass or use the rack n roll.


Mick
Participant
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I’ve never had wind stop me from riding.

It can get irritating, for sure. It could get windy enough to make riding unsafe, I’ve just never seen it like that when I’ve wanted to ride.

Today, I noticed it when I usually notice wind – coming down Fifth toward the Birmingham Bridge, you go around a bend. Then almost stop.


floggingdavy
Participant
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i agree with mick. my biggest problem with wind isnt that it makes me feel unsafe, it just pisses me off.

i also find the wind effects me the worst when i am riding along buildings that have breaks between them. the little gusts that shoot through the slits can catch me off guard, especially with the hipstery deep-section rims that i used to run.


bikeygirl
Participant
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Keep hands on steering at all times, lowering your body closer to the bike helps to yield the wind better, and yeah, keep your eye for bridges-street intersections where winds pick up due to higher turbulence.

Gears make a great difference too.

Personally, and maybe because I’m petite, I’ve had some wind gusts before that have made me “lean” on them enough to make me have to put my foot down so I don’t fall. This morning it was strong, but not super bad…… felt like “wind surfing” :)


stefb
Participant
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i was thinking about you earlier today when i was riding in. i was wondering if you would get blown off of your bike. i rode today and i got blown around a bit. it was a pretty slow commute cause i was heading into the wind for most of it. the gusts very early this morning weren’t horrible, but it was more than i have had on a bike


Noah Mustion
Participant
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this morning sucked. the wind kept pushing me towards parked cars (better than moving ones i suppose). i thought i was gonna get blown off the 16th street bridge; i had a pretty considerable lean into the wind to compensate. whee


brian j
Participant
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Today, I noticed it when I usually notice wind – coming down Fifth toward the Birmingham Bridge, you go around a bend. Then almost stop.

Yep. That always sucks. Amazing that you can get out of the saddle to pedal downhill and end up losing speed.


helen s
Participant
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Never had wind stop any activities. I am aware of a few places in my commute where the wind funnels so it is calm then very strong, and hang on tich accordingly. I did have a gust nearly stop me once just before Grant on the Jail trail.

I did see 2 Pitt XC runners brought to a standstill while running fast intervals at the oval once- gusts were reported to 55 that day.

But is sure is nice riding with the wind, eh?!


Lyle
Participant
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Who said “there are headwinds, crosswinds, and my I’m feeling exceptionally fit today” ?


Mick
Participant
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A read a biography of Sir Richard Burton, the explorer. At the end of his career he was British Consul Trieste, in the Balkans.

They mentioned that the wind bothered him. I thought maybe he had gotten hypersensitive in his old age ro something.

A few paragraphs later, it mentioned an incident where the wind blew a train off the tracks there. Maybe not so hypersensitive.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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My biggest concern is other traffic, especially when they are upwind of you, such as when traveling north with a strong west or SW wind. I myself can handle the wind OK, but unsuspecting drivers can get pushed into you with little warning.

On a bike, you are keenly aware of changes in wind. In a car, you’re oblivious. Be careful.


salty
Participant
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I was in an airplane once and we almost succeeded in flying it backwards. The wind wasn’t quite strong enough to make it happen, but we were barely crawling along.


Pseudacris
Participant
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This video sums up my concerns about riding in the wind. (Warning: It’ll make you want to cry at first, but everything works out in the end)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEBLt6Kd9EY&feature=player_embedded


ejwme
Participant
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two weekends ago, I was headed up Frankstown just outside the city towards Verona Road, and I experienced a “my, I feel exceptionally fit today”. First time ever (that I’d realized it, thanks to the clothing catching it in visible ways).

Now I’m wondering how many “my god I’m uselessly flabby” days were actually headwinds that I was unaware of. I suspect fewer than would be helpful.

Wind has never stopped me. Wind chill, maybe. Dark+Cold+Traffic still has me freaked, and I really hate wind even off a bike. But I can’t say it’s ever stopped me (I’d have to have started or intended to for that, right?).


Marko82
Participant
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That video is hilarious!


Marko82
Participant
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It takes a LOT of wind to keep one of those full size garrison flags standing straight out! This was so pretty today that I had to share. It was very noisy too.


stefb
Participant
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It was like that last Friday on my way home. It was terrible. I was stopped at the light and had to take both feet off of the pedals cause I nearly got knocked over standing with jus one foot down.


Erica
Participant
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ugh this morning was lame. I felt like I was pedaling through a swimming pool.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Notwithstanding my comment from wheneveritwas ago, I guess I just don’t notice it unless it’s causing me serious trouble, like pushing me into traffic.

When I was first learning how to ride the unicycle, I remember a windy day when I had just mastered going forward for > 100 yards at a time. It took a lot of concentration and compensation to figure out how to maintain both velocity and balance with a 30 mph breeze hitting me diagonally, but once I figured out how, I don’t so much notice wind on either one wheel or two.

Today I biked into Downtown via Perrysville. Didn’t really notice the wind until I was off the bike, walking around, and then more because of wind chill than balance.


dmtroyer
Participant
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I did Dan’s Roosevelt-Rochester-Red Belt and the first half was super demoralizing with the climbing and the headwind.


edmonds59
Participant
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“F*** limits.”


stefb
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You win at the innernetz


StuInMcCandless
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That’s the second time Almira Gulch has appeared on this board.


chemicaldave
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Mick
Participant
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@ rsprake When they start warning you on the news about the dangers of the wind chill.

So when it’s thirty five degrees with gusts up to 5 mph, you stop riding?

“Wind chill” is TV journalism, not meteorology.


rsprake
Participant
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So when it’s thirty five degrees with gusts up to 5 mph, you stop riding?

There aren’t wind chill warnings issued when it’s 35 degrees outside.

Windchill Advisories are issued when the wind chill temperature is expected to fall between -15F and -24F.

– Source

Looking back at my response, I think I misunderstood the question.

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