When do you consider it too windy to ride?

I was looking forward to riding outside tomorrow as it’s been a very stressful week and it will be my only chance to go outside this week. Unfortunately weather report shows 12mph sustained winds with 20+mph gusts.

The area I ride in has rolling hills and no bike lane, basically country roads but unfortunately with a fair amount of car traffic. At what point do you all consider it unsafe to ride when it’s windy? I’m a heavy guy at 100kg, but I feel like 20+mph gusts could push me into traffic :grimacing:.

I always say that wind feels personal. Like an attack…boogeyman. Can’t see it, never know when or where it’s coming from and worse when it will end.

At least with hills you see it coming, prepare for it (or ride away), and there’s the feeling of triumph. I made it to the top…maybe the reward of a view.

But the wind…silently mocking sometimes whistling at you. Scary.

I think anything above 7mph is horrific. I RARELY have a tailwind I shit you not! But there have been dozens of loops I’ve completed where there was a headwind THE WHOLE TIME.

Wind….I’m having bad dreams tonight. Thanks for nothing OP…couldn’t you ask “Why is my Ramp Test Fully Half of My FTP?” Or something.

Jesus.

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At 12MPH you’ll be fine. If you’re new-ish to cycling and have the option, I would consider swapping out deep section rims, just for added piece of mind.

What I would say is pay attention when approaching gates or openings in hedgerows. A gust from the side can catch you off guard but again, I think you’ll be ok with those wind speeds.

When you set off, try to head into the wind and then enjoy the added benefit of a tailwind as you head home :+1:

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^^ this.

It’s never too windy to ride! That’s when you bag the KOMs which have been eluding you :rofl:

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p.s. I’m riding early with mid aero wheels, and if the forecast is wrong and it’s windier than I’ll use my shallow wheels.

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Living in the UK riding in the wind is something you get used to.

Establish the direction and use sheltered country lanes where possible and ensure you have the wind at your back on your last leg home.

Make sure you bend your elbows and your upper body is relaxed. As your body acts like a sail you need to dampen the effect of gusts on your steering and by dampening the impact of wind on your body through your arms helps immensely.

Riding in wind makes you stronger and refines your aero position;-)

@TRusername those wind speeds are not uncommon in the UK.

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I look carefully when it says ‘gusting >30mph’ and will usually stay indoors when it reaches >35mph. Thats where I feel it gets risky and you get blown around too much on the road, but I’m not a 60kg climber so YMMV :wink:

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Be fine if no deep dish wheels.

12mph is a good day where I live!

There’s folks out my way go out on purpose when it’s really windy to go trophy hunting :rofl:, we call them Prospectors. Some people have no shame :grin:

Another guy get’s his bike on to the train and heads to places, and get’s pushed home with the tail wind.

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15 m/s + windgusts I avoid. The more wind it is the less fun and nice it is. I avoid going on narrow roads through farm land when the wind hits strong from the side but avoiding riding outdoors at windspeeds at around 10 mph aka 4-5 m/s sounds a bit to safe. The Beaufort scale calls it “gentle breeze” :). I weigh 55 kilos so I dont have a lot of weight to fight the wind.

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I don’t get worried about it being too windy until it hits gusts of 40 mph really and even then I’ve been known to get out on suitable routes. Living in the north of Scotland, you do sort of get used to it though, 15-20 mph gusting 30 mph is basically the norm October to April!

Looking out for breaks in shelter at the side of the road (gates, driveways etc) helps to keep you on top of it too, and I view the cross winds as a welcome break from a slogging headwind …

I am heavy tho at 90 kg but tall so catch the wind a lot too :grin:

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I knew a guy who planned routes around the wind forecast and I took part in one of these outings… Our group had the full top 10 for a few segments

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Yeah, there’s lots of segments out my way like that… Top Ten all done on the same day, it’s not fair! :rofl:

Last year I managed to get a top 10 on one of them, I was trotting along then absolutely blasted it for the segment, when I looked the other 9 were all done on the same day… turned out the other 9 were from a national championship race a few years before.

It’s interesting to see how much you are used to affects your view. For me everything below 14mph is considered a low wind day. 14 to 23 is a normal windy day which merits no precautions, only a slight annoyance when going through a head wind section. Over 34mph and I will start to make adjustments to equipment and route.

I should mention that I have been blown into the wrong lane and had races canceled only when racers started blowing off the road. For reference yesterday morning we had 36mph wind with 52 mph gusts.

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In Ireland, wind is pretty common (Gusts around 35kmh) - Unless there is a ‘dangerous to life’ warning (50kmh++), id just go ahead. I’m 64kg and have 50mm deep wheels. But I would generally pick a less windy route if its proper windy, won’t be heading to the top of any hill/mountain.

Do whatever you feel is safe

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If 12 mph was too windy, I’d never get out.

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I don’t really have a hard limit- depends on the session, the route, the bike, the other weather conditions (rain/visibility), etc.

As with most bike handling/safety related things, probably best to build up your confidence slowly. I’m 50kg and 35mph isn’t an issue for me, but if you’ve only ever ridden in calm conditions that might be really tough. And bear in mind you can always adjust things by shortening the ride, picking a more sheltered route or recruiting a (preferably tall) buddy!

I agree, I’d ride in that. Go out, if you don’t feel ok, you can always turn around. although it is -3 in my garden.

I’m a relative lightweight and if I never rode in 12mph winds with gusts up to 20mph I’d never go out 300 days of the year and I’ve TT with deep section wheel/disc in stronger. I’ve had days when I couldn’t be bothered with the wind but on other days when the mood has took me I’ve been out in far stronger. I couldn’t be bothered sometimes with a 8mph wind in the flat and open fens but Ive been out in 80mph (120mph gusts) winds in the rolling hills and valleys of the Trossachs. Where wind will be a regular influence for me is that I will choose to go out into it and be blown home.

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Anything over 15 mph sustained will stay indoors or head for the woods and mountain bike.

In my youth (40s), don’t think I ever looked. Just went out to ride.

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