# Riding in wind

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by rclouviere, Nov 26, 2016.

1. ### rclouviere Member

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Basic question: If there is wind, should I be able to go as fast (average mph) as when it's calm? In other words, since I will have a tailwind when I go the opposite direction, should it even out to the same as if I went both ways in calm winds? Seems the headwinds take it out of me and I can't make it up with tailwinds.

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2. ### CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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You have got to work hard into the wind to yield the same average speed as a no-wind out & back ride. Most riders do not work hard enough going into the wind and depend on the tailwind to bring their average speed up.

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3. ### MikeWMass New Member

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I am not a physicist or an engineer, so this is just my take on the situation.

There are two aspects (I think) here.
1. Drag is proportional to wind velocity squared. So riding into the wind, you add your velocity to the wind speed and square it. With the wind, your velocity minus wind speed squared (if negative, you are being pushed) . Either way, the benefit of the tailwind is less than the loss to the headwind.
2. Because you are going slower into the wind, you spend more time on that leg, which would pull down your average speed compared to a windless ride at the same effort. Average speed depends on time at speed, not distance at speed.

(Now all you phsyicists and engineers can tell me why I'm wrong!)

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4. ### rclouviere Member

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Makes perfect sense to me (and makes me feel better). Thanks for responding.

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5. ### jatinkalsi New Member

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In the wind day their you have face some problems in riding because of fast wind. Their are so many problems can face ...

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6. ### CyclingJunkies Member

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No. Because of this:
Makes perfect sense, right?

Basically, whilst you'll get a "push" from a tailwind it won't generally increase your speed much, just make the effort easier; conversely, a headwind will generally increase your effort and slow your speed, so they don't balance each other out.

I'm not an engineer or physicist either, but have had years of experience fighting with exhausting headwinds ...

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