Monday, November 29, 2010

Twenty Doesn't Feel Like Zero

Gusty headwind making waves on the Arizona Canal

If you ride ten miles into a 20 mph headwind, then turn around and ride back the other way, does the advantage gained on the way back cancel out the extra effort going out? Going west into the wind was a work out. I almost just gave up and turned around a couple of times. But I set my goal on the usual end point, put my head down, and rode on.

Rusty steel symbols for gusty winds (AZ Canal and Central Ave, Phoenix)
a.k.a. rusty steel canal bridge decorations by Barbara Grygutis

In terms of effort expended, I don't think we can say twenty is zero just because of the wind, since I didn't feel full of energy and ready to turn around and do it again. In fact, just the opposite. But, I can also say that riding with the wind at your back allows you to practice spinning your feet around pretty fast when you feel like it, and that it's much easier on the knees than riding into the wind. Not cold enough on Sunday to require the Ninja Sniper gloves yet. Probably will be on Monday, though. Get up. Go ride. 


  1. Ah, the rider's natural liquid anemometer.
    At least there weren't any white caps!
    I was reading this thing on the exponential amount of leg power needed to ride against the wind.
    I got depressed.

  2. I wonder if your ocean anemometer gives different readings for a give wind speed, compared to the AZ Canal. I need to gather data on that, I think. I understand how you feel about leg power: sometimes the inverse square relationship with gravity gets me down.


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