March 1, 2012

Biking in a headwind

Most people who have biked understand that the wind is mysteriously always going the opposite direction you are going. There is no scientific reason to explain this oddity other than God hates bicyclists. It's the only reasonable explanation.

But more to the point, a really old study more or less says that Columbus has a wind from the southwest. Since my commute home is southwest, I can attest to the validity of this study.

Here are some words of advice when dealing with a strong headwind. First, downshift to an easier gear. For the longest time I attempted to keep my front chain ring with the largest gear which means I was going for speed. Then one windy day I decided to downshift my front chain ring and I had a relatively good ride. Slow, but still good.

Second, if the wind is gusting up to 40 mph, feel free to take an alternate mode of transportation. There's no need to exhaust yourself to the point of misery. Feel free to bus/car/whatever. There's never shame in not biking.

Cool cat-stuck-in-a-hamster-ball link of the day:


  1. Oh but there IS a scientific explanation for why the wind is always in your face! You create wind resistance whenever you move. The boating term for the phenomenon is Apparent Wind. This "wind" is always going to be there when you ride, but it will be less noticeable when you have a legitimate tailwind.

    1. Or it could be witchcraft? Thanks for the explanation, nautical references and all.


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