They said it would be windy



alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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And they were right. [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXphEuZF6aU[/video]
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Holy cow. I've never experienced anything like that on a bicycle but have experienced a gusty spell on a motorcycle trip once that had us all pulled over at a diner for a couple hours... the initial gusts were pretty scary.

Also experienced some white knuckle gusts once when on a road trip by car and thought to myself thank goodness I didn't take the motorbike.
 

alienator

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I don't know what the winds are at in the video, but the closest I've come to riding in those conditions was on a "red flag" (weather man's term for windy) day in Tucson, when the winds were gusting to 50 mph or so. The wind itself wasn't nearly as bad as getting sandblasted by the desert sand and dust. That **** can sting.
 

maydog

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Feb 5, 2010
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True story,

My first summer back from college, I spent most of my spare time playing basketball at a park 5 miles from home. One day I decided to go shoot some hoops and watch a storm come in. I usually went by bike, but do to the pending weather, I drove. I parked my car in the sand parking lot under a tree and hopped the fence to the court.

All was well for about 20 minutes, then the storm started getting close. It was the usual, ominous circulating wall of clouds - but it looked to still be miles away.

Suddenly, I saw trees across the park, about 1/2 mile away bending, falling over and breaking. Quickly, I hopped the fence started the car and drove about 10 feet....

Then I saw the sand in the lot lift straight up for a second followed by it blasting through the car. Both the driver and passenger windows were opened, the sandblasting was so intense I could not see or breathe. The worst sensation is that I could feel the car being slid sideways. Seconds later, it was over and drove off quickly, not looking back.

After calming down, I noticed that my driver side rear view mirror was useless and my windshield was severely pitted. I drove back to the basketball court to find all the trees were snapped off mid height. The top of one tree would have crushed my car had I not moved it. The national weather service said it was straight line winds in excess of 100mph.

I guess I was lucky, I guess the winds sent some folks a tumbling across the park - but there were no injuries.

In other news, I have biked in ~50mph tailwinds. Its fun to ride with traffic, but the brakes take a beating.
 

alienator

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maydog said:
True story, Then I saw the sand in the lot lift straight up for a second followed by it blasting through the car. Both the driver and passenger windows were opened, the sandblasting was so intense I could not see or breathe. The worst sensation is that I could feel the car being slid sideways. Seconds later, it was over and drove off quickly, not looking back.
Micro burst?
 

alienator

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mpre53 said:
I'm thinking more like a F1 tornado touched down. He mentioned ominous, circling clouds.
That could be a micro burst, too. The daughter and I were at a storer one day on the outskirts of Tucson, when all of a sudden conditions went from breezy to horizontal rain and flying shrubbery, small trees, and grocery carts. It lasted a good 5 minutes or so. The weather folks said it was a micro burst, but I don't think that made any of the people with smashed hoods or quarter panels feel any better.
 

jpr95

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Oct 11, 2010
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustnado

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microburst

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight-line_winds#Straight-line_winds

All are possibilities in the Midwest, and all are capable of the wind intensities described by Maydog.
 

maydog

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Feb 5, 2010
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The national weather service claimed it was straight line winds based on the radar. There was 1.5 to 2 miles of destruction - nothing else was touched. Some eyewitnesses claimed it was a tornado, but I saw nothing of the sort.

I am not a meteorologist, but I believe it was part of the downdraft of an approaching storm system. I have encountered them several times, to a lesser degree, out on rides.

Another windy experience was on the 2nd day of MS150 ride between Hinckley and White Bear Lake MN. Imagine 75 miles of Southbound riding into strong headwinds and 90+ heat. The latter half of the ride the wind was from the South at steady 40mph. My ride mates were much weaker and I spend the whole ride making myself a windblock. Three thousand or so riders were out that day, the Sag wagons were full, every available piece of shade on the route was occupied. Folks were generally miserable. I did OK and maintained a double digit pace easily enough. I managed to pull at least one of my fellow riders to the finish.

At the finish, I did an about face and sailed home at a 30ish pace for 15 miles barely pedaling.
 

alienator

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maydog said:
The national weather service claimed it was straight line winds based on the radar. There was 1.5 to 2 miles of destruction - nothing else was touched. Some eyewitnesses claimed it was a tornado, but I saw nothing of the sort. I am not a meteorologist, but I believe it was part of the downdraft of an approaching storm system. I have encountered them several times, to a lesser degree, out on rides.
It's just like Confucius said: "Steep atmospheric pressure gradients are a *****."
 

Brian in VA

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Jul 10, 2011
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We had those straight line winds come through Richmond VA last summer, one afternoon. The speed that was clocked was in excess of 80 mph about a mile from my house. One perfectly health maple tree in my yard, with about a 12 inch diameter, was snapped off about 5 feet off the ground and thrown about 40 yards.

The newspaper published these winds with some name I'd never heard before and I can't remember what it was. But it was intense.

I don't think it would be much fun to ride in, no matter what direction I was going.

Brian in VA