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 ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......

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Mike from NS
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PostSubject: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Mon 01 May 2017, 20:33

So, I ask the wise and well traveled; and experienced ... what are the best riding techniques to deal with riding on what turns out to be a quite windy day with sudden high gusts?   Being a fair weather rider, I wasn't really ready for this kind of weather when out yesterday.  It made for a tense ride at times, as I drifted about and feeling like a feather in a hurricane.  I spoke to a Gold Wing rider, along the way, who also felt more drift that was desirable.  His machine weighs in the 809# range.

Thanks

Mike
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Mech 1 twa
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Mon 01 May 2017, 21:04

Gusts can be difficult to deal with, they can push you several feet. Best way is to counter steer, push the handle bar to make the bike lean into the wind.
A bike at parking lot speed turns the direction bars are turned. A bike at higher speeds does the opposite. Push the throttle grip forward bike turns to right and leans. Same other way.
TRY it next time.
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DickO
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Mon 01 May 2017, 21:14

Hi Mike,
Yes, it can get tense at times. In my NE Kansas neck of the woods it's usually the constant south winds that tend to really kick up at times. The first time I ever got sideways to those heavy winds was really a shocker. Once into them I quickly found my "middle ground" and then started looking ahead to see where the clumps of trees, low areas, or close buildings were because when you're already fighting those extreme riding angles a sudden cessation can make you want to over-correct to keep yourself upright. Which is all I can really say as far as "my" riding technique: Just keep it centered as much as possible in your own lane and be looking far enough ahead for any trouble spots; traffic included.

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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 02:44

In England there's an expression connected particularly with cricket: - 'soft hands'.

It's a way of encouraging the batsman not to hold the bat stiffly but have it as an extension of the arms with the wrists still flexible.
The same goes for riding a bike. Keep the flexibility in the wrists and don't try to fight the wind; the bike will look after itself and the rider if allowed to. Steer, don't fight.
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oldwingguy
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 06:38

Good answers, also recognize your surroundings for the unexpected, i.e. coming out of a wooded area, from a hill close to the road not to mention that 18 wheeler your passing, anything that can break the wind temporarily then gob smack you.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 08:57

Even though SilverWing can move around a bit in sidewinds/gusts----just look ahead/relax, maybe even back off throttle a bit....I used to think gas it into wind on scooter, until I "flew" my Helix one day---later reading Ed Otto who rode Helix in Iron Butt had similar experience. Part of the goofy handling of scooters related to no tank to grip or footpegs to put pressure on.


One time struggling across Wyoming near Little America...I was struggling with the severe cross wind...then I was passed by a couple of GoldWings almost laying on their sides trying to maintain straight ahead----just slowed down my scooter a bit and tried to relax, enjoy ride.
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Murf
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 14:02

I lived in North Dakota for a while and you planned your route based on the wind direction. Treat the wind gusts like a sweeping turn, smooth recovery.
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 14:22

Had a bad case of wind myself yesterday :-)
Besides the usual relax arms and counter steer stuff I also found it helped to bring my feet right back on the boards to allow me to use them to weight scootie as I would on a motorbike.
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cotetoi
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 14:52

Mike, I read on a website dedicated to touring cyclists that putting a knee out into the wind helps in windy conditions. I was sceptical of the advice until I tried a couple years back. It worked great. When you get a gust or steady strong wind put the knee on that side into the wind.
When you think about it it makes sense: a counterbalance to the direction the gust is pushing you into.
Jay.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 16:37

Sounds good, Jay.
My only reservation is that a gust may be so sudden that one doesn't have time to do much else than hang on!
I've twice been frightened riding in severe wind.
The prevailing wind here is from the South West and the two occasions were on roads near the coast running NW/SE so at right-angles to the wind and with nowhere to stop and take refuge.
On both occasions the wind strength was Force 8/9 with gusts.
I followed the 'soft hands' approach and survived but I don't want to do it again!
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Mike from NS
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Tue 02 May 2017, 20:38

Thanks for all the great replies. Lots more information here than meets the eye. Wind seems to be a common problem and we have all faced it. From the replies I have better ideas how to handle the situation the next time. My method was to hand on and fight the wind. Next time I will try to relax more and go with the flow. I've heard the knee out technique and will give that a try as well. But as MikeO points out, it might have to be a sudden movement. One of my concerns was if reacting to the wind with counter steering, how would I correct that correction if the wind suddenly ceased, and maintain a smoothness in travel? There were times when I traveled faster in hopes to smooth out the drift and it seemed to help -- but maybe it wasn't as windy in that stretch as I had thought.

It was a very familiar road I traveled in this wind. Have been over this road about 22 times on the way to the ski hill during the winter. One stretch is wide open to large fields on both sides. It is always windy there and the worst part of the drive in the winter at times of snow storms. Can be drifted on the road if not white out conditions. The other day a Canadian flag that flies outside one home on that stretch was flat out with little fluttering in the strong wind. So I knew that stretch would be a challenge .... and it was. More a steady wind than gusty along there. I slowed more along there than elsewhere.

Thanks again for your replies, this had been interesting.

Mike
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Easyrider
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Wed 03 May 2017, 23:21

Here in Hawaii we encounter strong trade winds all the time. My only challenge with wind is to hold on to the handles. Even with the Airflow, I have encountered cross winds where it hits in an instance and feels like it wants to knock me backward off of my bike. I am okay with side drifts. Once you are in an area with wind drifts, you generally will have more drifts.  Counter steering usually occurs after the cross wind hits you (reaction time) so you should not be over compansating. That's my 2¢.
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Thu 04 May 2017, 15:50

And of course the right speed for the conditions, too fast or too slow makes it worse.
Sometimes if the wind is straight ahead or astern it causes the most confusion. A headwind can leave you thinking something is wrong with the bike. Strong wind astern can be fun though :-)
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Thu 04 May 2017, 20:03

For me it's kinda like flying an airplane in turbulence. Just let the machine work a bit and guide it don't try to force a rigid line on the road. MikeO's 'soft hands' is pretty much what I've always done, works on bikes, airplanes and sailboats, let the machine do the work, don't tense up and be rigid. Tensing up makes one's handling unsmooth which results in fighting the machine, work with it. The easiest way to check youself for tenseness is to let your shoulders droop. If you're riding with tension you'll feel it when you do that. A trick on motorcycles to check for tension is to grip the tank with your knees, if you are riding tense that will cause your shoulders to droop. Lacking the tank on a scooter you just have to force yourself to relax.
Making sure you're relaxed and riding with the bike, not against it makes heavy, gusting winds easier to handle. The bike is going to lean more into the wind when a gust hits it, just keep on track, it will ease up as the gust fades.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Fri 05 May 2017, 07:38

I'm going to 'Save' your description, Paul; it's the very best, most concise and most accurate summing-up I've ever read on the subject.

Thank you.

Happy to say it's what I do when I'm riding (I do have to remember to make my shoulders 'droop' from time to time).
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Mike from NS
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Fri 05 May 2017, 12:53

Easyrider, over compensating is one of my concerns.

But to add another analogy to what Paul W. says. The same might be said in the operation of a chain saw or other cutting or drilling tools. We have to let the tool do the work and not force or rush the cut. Best to "finesse" the saw slowly and without too much pressure. It saves wear and tear on the tools and gets the job to completion without overheating anything.

I was out yesterday and a bit windy again ...nothing like the winds on Sunday that brought my question forward. I was using what has been said here and it made a significant difference in the ride. Soft hands and a maintained relaxed state seemed to help. So thanks once again for all the replies.

Mike
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Fri 05 May 2017, 14:18



Another concern, especially in urban areas, is overpasses where the side wind will suddenly pick up speed.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: ....the answer is blowing in the wind ......   Sat 06 May 2017, 19:13

I used to live in Tacoma, WA. The Tacoma Narrows bridge is notorious for cross winds. As one passes the two suspension towers the wind is momentarily blocked and then comes back suddenly as you clear the tower. Add to that the metal grate roadway and it can be interesting. A bike will naturally lean into a cross wind so the lean angle will change quite abruptly but it's not all that hazardous just a matter of letting the bike find it's own way.
About six years ago I rode from Oregon to North Carolina on my Goldwing 1500 with a couple of friends who also had big Wings. It seemed that we leaned hard to the right all the length of Nebraska. They must tie that corn to the ground. The whole way the wind blew, not a zephyr but a half gale. It does get tiring riding mile after mile holding the handle bar down on one side.
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