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06/04/08
Riding Again
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 8:06 am

Back on the bike. Hoo-freakin-ray.  Rode to work Monday, and then rode to work and over to vote Tuesday.  That’d be two fer two on the week, and the first couple rides I’ve been on since  - oooo boy - May 10th.

Lungs felt like raw meat both days.  But, yesterday I even shifted into the big ring for a brief interlude (slight downhill and had to jump two lanes to get to the left turn spot), so there’s already a bit of palpable progress.  Feels good to be riding even if it doesn’t always feel easy to be pedaling. Hopefully the comfort will increase.  It sure fell off considerably while lying around for the past few weeks. It’s funny what gets sore when you stay sedentary.  As an example, I’ve got this wierd soreness in my tailbone. It disappears when I ride, and feels better already after a couple of bike trips.  I actually know from personal previous impact experience that bit of the body is slow to heal.  So, we’ll see.  Wrangle the system back to movement and rest, activity and recovery, as opposed to frantic work during the few moments of lucidity followed by beached whale lethargy.

Moseying around yesterday in the still-chilly (l/s wool jersey and knickers) June weather, I had a chance to play with crosswind response techniques and to modify the model that was in my head.

A recent thread on the iBob list about “High Trail Stability vs “Down the Road” Stability” gave me a head-slapping moment that probably most folks have figured out.

Somewhere in the conversation, it was stated that crosswinds act primarily upon the rider, with the body acting as a sail which pushes the frame in the direction as the wind.  Since there is a “hinge” in the system at the headset, the tendancy will be to turn the bars and fork into the wind. As the bicycle turns by countersteering, this act pitches the bicycle with the wind, instituting a change of course in that direction.

I have to admit that my mental model of crosswinds has involved the wind redirecting my front wheel.  Thus, when I actually think about how to respond*, my actions are exactly wrong - i.e. holding the front wheel “against the wind”.

Luckily (?), yesterday the SF Bay Area winds were out in decent force.  It gave me ample opportunity to try some new concious techniques for crosswinds. I found that by relaxing the lee-side hand and arm - in effect turning the bars slightly in the direction the wind wanted to send me - it was incredibly easy to keep going straight.

I’m sure this is already obvious for a lot of folks, but restating the model in this way was such a eye-opener, I thought I’d say it here.

* In many cases, I’m probably doing the right thing, as I’m generally able to hold a pretty good line. But, when I’ve encountered really strong side winds and start focusing on those, it seems that things get a little squirrely.

5 Responses to “Riding Again”

  1. jimg Says:
    Awesome! I’m OOT this weekend, but the next we should sync up for some ridin’. I’ve a new bike to introduce to you! ;)
  2. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Excellent! Can’t wait to meet the little feller.
  3. beth h Says:
    Happy to hear your back on your bicycle! ..::applause::.. Yay!
  4. scott clark Says:
    Glad to hear you’re riding again!
  5. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Thanks and Thanks! The winds are dying down and temps are warming up - even took the long way home this evening… Yep, this ridin’ stuff is fun.