23 January 2017

Pumping And Sailing

A couple of days ago, I returned from a week in Florida.  Aside from a couple of brief spells of rain, which passed quickly, the days were sunny and warm, so  I did a fair amount of riding.

Now, I know that spending a week or two there every year hardly makes me an expert on cycling in the Sunshine State.  But I can comment on something I've noticed whenever I've ridden there:  wind.  I wouldn't say there is more of it than in New York. It is however, more noticeable, as the terrain is flat and even in the urban areas, the buildings aren't as densely clustered--and certainly not as tall!--as in even the most suburban neighborhoods of New York.  

When I rode to St. Augustine from my parents' house, I pedaled into a fairly stiff wind almost the entire way there.  The flip-side of that, of course, is that I breezed back:  I completed the 52.5 kilometers back to my parents' house in about half an hour less than it took me to pedal the same distance to St. Augustine.  I had a similar experience in riding to Daytona Beach, although the wind wasn't quite as stiff.  On the other hand, on another ride, I breezed down to Ormond Beach but fought the wind on my way back.

Today the wind will be much stiffer than anything I experienced last week:  Gusts of 80-110 KPH are predicted.  This would certainly be a day to plan a ride into the wind and with it coming home!  The thing is, though the cross-winds could be really tough.  

Hmm...If I could manage to ride into the wind for a bit, perhaps my ride home could look something like this:


  1. Crazy idea, but not at all new. Unwatchable video.
    Here in the midwest, the wind is our hill training.

  2. Mike and Phillip--I recall reading somewhere that the Dutch racers use highway entrance and exit ramps for their hill training. Those are the steepest grades in that country--and, probably, Florida and parts of the Midwest!

  3. I find it ironic that some of the best climbers have been Dutch. Gert-Jan Theunisse comes to mind. Strange considering how flat Holland is.

    1. I guess they over-compensate. Or, their training really pays off.

      I recall that, for a time in the early and mid-90s, some top-level mountain bikers were coming from Florida.

  4. in the Netherlands, they have the DUTCH WIND CHAMPIONSHIP. Upright bike required.