20 02 2011

The Aurora Bicycling Club now has SIX members.

Today’s Ride: 20 miles, @ 13mph avg.

We will be riding today, @ 11 AM, with a guest, whom we hope will also join. It can be difficult to find a group of people with whom you enjoy riding. Club rides tend to turn into races. Group rides, sponsored by an LBS, must be conducted at their convenience. Pacing is always a problem. We hope to reduce, if not eliminate, these issues for folks, by allowing individual input for planned rides.

We also have a couple of people who are very new to cycling, so “racing” is definitely out of the question. I vow to always list goals for every ride,i.e., distance and pace; allowing each individual to choose whether or not to join us.

Well, time to do some stretching. Time to do some riding.


Mostly sunny, “breezy,” and mild…

16 02 2011

This is the weather forecast for today; “Mostly sunny, breezy, and mild.” Breezy? What is this “breezy” of which they speak?

At the moment, the wind is blowing at 22 mph, with gusts to 31 mph; which, frankly, tends to make riding a bicycle less than fun. And this is labeled as “breezy?”

Apparently, there are five levels of “breeze” on the Beaufort Scale, the scale which labels wind strength. So, a “breeze” can range from 4-7 mph (light breeze) to 25-30 mph (strong breeze)…DOH!!! A thirty mile-per-hour wind is labeled a breeze? Here are the five types of “Breeze,” as defined by the Scale:

light – 4-7 mph…gentle – 8-12 mph…moderate – 13-17 mph…fresh – 18-24 mph…strong – 25-30 mph

Now, I’m no windologist, but these numbers seem awfully stupid to me. I mean, there ain’t no breeze outside right now…not at 22-31 mph. There’s a freakin’ wind blowin’. Anyone who says differently is just dumb.

Look at the scale below (and thanks to Wikipedia for this). There is no condition defined by the word WINDY. In fact, the Scale barely mentions wind at all. We pretty much have Breeze and Gale; oh, and High Wind. Are you kiddin’ me; there is only ONE kind of “wind” on the wind scale? Oy…experts!

Now, I’ve ridden my bikes in breezes; I’ve also ridden them in gales. I have to say, somewhere in between, there had to be wind; just plain-old-everyday-freakin’ wind. You know, more than a breeze, but less than a gale? More than a puff, but less than a blow-your-house-down? More than a ruffle, but less than a “We’re not in Kansas anymore?” What the hell ever happened to wind? Or windy? Or strong wind? Or very windy?

Let’s define some terms here. A breeze can muss your hair, but it won’t blow your bike out from under your butt. A strong breeze can blow your hat off your head, but it won’t make you feel like you’re riding up-hill, through wet sand. Riding into a gale can stop the strongest cyclist dead in his tracks, but coming from behind him, it can push him along at 25 mph with only the slightest effort on the cranks. All of these things have happened to me in the last three years, and more. But when a 30 mph “strong breeze” began blowing across the road in front of me on my fully loaded bike in northern Arizona, forcing me to ride at a 20 degree angle to the perpendicular, I just can’t refer to it as a breeze no matter which expert might say it was. Sorry Mr. B., that just ain’t no breeze. That was wind.

In fact, it was “real windy” that day.


The modern [Beaufort] scale (Please ignore “Sea Conditions” for the purpose of cycling. They just happened to be included in the Scale.)

Beaufort number Description Wind speed Wave height Sea conditions Land conditions Sea state photo
0 Calm < 1 km/h 0 m Flat. Calm. Smoke rises vertically. Beaufort scale 0.jpg
< 1 mph
< 1 kn 0 ft
< 0.3 m/s
1 Light air 1.1–5.5 km/h 0–0.2 m Ripples without crests. Smoke drift indicates wind direction, still wind vanes. Beaufort scale 1.jpg
1–3 mph
1–2 kn 0–1 ft
0.3–1.5 m/s
2 Light breeze 5.6–11 km/h 0.2–0.5 m Small wavelets. Crests of glassy appearance, not breaking Wind felt on exposed skin. Leaves rustle, vanes begin to move. Beaufort scale 2.jpg
4–7 mph
3–6 kn 1–2 ft
1.6–3.4 m/s
3 Gentle breeze 12–19 km/h 0.5–1 m Large wavelets. Crests begin to break; scattered whitecaps Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended. Beaufort scale 3.jpg
8–12 mph
7–10 kn 2–3.5 ft
3.4–5.4 m/s
4 Moderate breeze 20–28 km/h 1–2 m Small waves with breaking crests. Fairly frequent white horses. Dust and loose paper raised. Small branches begin to move. Beaufort scale 4.jpg
13–17 mph
11–15 kn 3.5–6 ft
5.5–7.9 m/s
5 Fresh breeze 29–38 km/h 2–3 m Moderate waves of some length. Many white horses. Small amounts of spray. Branches of a moderate size move. Small trees in leaf begin to sway. Beaufort scale 5.jpg
18–24 mph
16–20 kn 6–9 ft
8.0–10.7 m/s
6 Strong breeze 39–49 km/h 3–4 m Long waves begin to form. White foam crests are very frequent. Some airborne spray is present. Large branches in motion. Whistling heard in overhead wires. Umbrella use becomes difficult. Empty plastic garbage cans tip over. Beaufort scale 6.jpg
25–30 mph
21–26 kn 9–13 ft
10.8–13.8 m/s
7 High wind,
Moderate gale,
Near gale
50–61 km/h 4–5.5 m Sea heaps up. Some foam from breaking waves is blown into streaks along wind direction. Moderate amounts of airborne spray. Whole trees in motion. Effort needed to walk against the wind. Beaufort scale 7.jpg
31–38 mph
27–33 kn 13–19 ft
13.9–17.1 m/s
8 Gale,
Fresh gale
62–74 km/h 5.5–7.5 m Moderately high waves with breaking crests forming spindrift. Well-marked streaks of foam are blown along wind direction. Considerable airborne spray. Some twigs broken from trees. Cars veer on road. Progress on foot is seriously impeded. Beaufort scale 8.jpg
39–46 mph
34–40 kn 18–25 ft
17.2–20.7 m/s
9 Strong gale 75–88 km/h 7–10 m High waves whose crests sometimes roll over. Dense foam is blown along wind direction. Large amounts of airborne spray may begin to reduce visibility. Some branches break off trees, and some small trees blow over. Construction/temporary signs and barricades blow over. Beaufort scale 9.jpg
47–54 mph
41–47 kn 23–32 ft
20.8–24.4 m/s
10 Storm,[6]
Whole gale
89–102 km/h 9–12.5 m Very high waves with overhanging crests. Large patches of foam from wave crests give the sea a white appearance. Considerable tumbling of waves with heavy impact. Large amounts of airborne spray reduce visibility. Trees are broken off or uprooted, saplings bent and deformed. Poorly attached asphalt shingles and shingles in poor condition peel off roofs. Beaufort scale 10.jpg
55–63 mph
48–55 kn 29–41 ft
24.5–28.4 m/s
11 Violent storm 103–117 km/h 11.5–16 m Exceptionally high waves. Very large patches of foam, driven before the wind, cover much of the sea surface. Very large amounts of airborne spray severely reduce visibility. Widespread damage to vegetation. Many roofing surfaces are damaged; asphalt tiles that have curled up and/or fractured due to age may break away completely. Beaufort scale 11.jpg
64–72 mph
56–63 kn 37–52 ft
28.5–32.6 m/s
12 Hurricane-force[6] ≥ 118 km/h ≥ 14 m Huge waves. Sea is completely white with foam and spray. Air is filled with driving spray, greatly reducing visibility. Very widespread damage to vegetation. Some windows may break; mobile homes and poorly constructed sheds and barns are damaged. Debris may be hurled

Fuel for the dedicated cyclist…

16 02 2011

Well…for this one, anyway.


What a great day for a ride…

15 02 2011

Just got back from a 15 mile spin. Beautiful day for a ride. When I left, it was in the high 50’s. By the time I returned, it was well above 60 degrees, With a “Feels like” temp of nearly 70º. Holy-moley, it’s the middle of February. Who needs Phoenix weather when we get days like this.

The weather lead to some great scenery too. I wish I had a better camera than my T-Mobile Dash but, we use what we have, right?


This was my view of the Rockies just three miles from home, looking at Long’s Peak, in the Rocky Mountain National Park…about 70 miles northwest of us. Not bad, huh?

Click to view – Rated PG 13

This was the view along the bike trail, which sent me home after only 15 miles…due to lack of oxygen. (Somehow, the camera in my phone worked better here.)


Just can’t stay away…

15 02 2011

…from cool bike pics.

2011 Velocite Helios

Been there, done that…

14 02 2011

Was definitely going to ride today, especially when the temp hit 54º; but with the wind gusting to 53 mph, I decided…No Thanks.

Been there, done that…

During The Ride from Arizona to Colorado I spent three days on the reservation in northern Arizona, with howling winds from 45-60 mph. Not gonna do that again. Not by choice, anyway.


Oh, well…

13 02 2011

We missed the group we were supposed to meet up with this morning. Couldn’t find the meeting place, even though we would have been early had we known exactly where we were going (I take the blame for that). So, instead, we did a little bike shopping for Darryl, then hit the Cherry Creek trail on the way back.

We did eleven miles…and it was nice. Sorry so few pics, we were too busy riding.

A small price to pay...

 She’s my Valentine…To ride her, is to love her! be able to ride her.

 Gotta’ do some scrubbin’ tomorrow.

But…Darryl saw some cool, COOL, COOL bikes. The Giant Defy 3 is an awesome looking bike, but so is the Cannondale Synapse 5. Due to the snow-melt in the parking lots, he was unable to test ride anything today, but during the week he’ll be working near the two shops we stopped in today. He’s going to try to take a test ride tomorrow at lunch.

If you like road bikes, I suggest you check these out. They are very cool designs, a little more relaxed geometry than a true “racing” design; which means the rider does not have to maintain such an aggressive, uncomfortable riding position. The combination of aluminum frame and carbon fork, plus the high quality of the components on these bikes, make them a dream to ride.

Anyway, it was nice to finally hit the road again after being housebound by the weather for so long, in spite of the fact that I had some more cramping issues today, as well as the bits of slush and snow-pack here and there. The trail was fairly busy today too. With the forecast for the week looking so good, I’m hopeful that I’ll do a bunch of miles this week.


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