The Chainlink

Anybody else going to wuss out on commuting because of gale force winds?

I felt exceptionally lazy the last three days and was unable to get out of the house on time to be able to make it to work via bike, so I drove. I rarely EVER drive to work so I've been a bit bummed that I didn't bike the last three days, and now it looks like my usual LFP commute will be all but impossible due to 30 mph winds gusting into my face each morning for the next couple days. I thought about maybe cutting west and riding up through the city to avoid the LFP on the off chance that it might be less windy. However, the wind is pretty much coming straight from the north so I can't see any northern route on city streets being much better than the LFP. The ride home would probably be a blast though, what with that tail wind. There was a storm last year in October that was a lot like this with the super high winds. It was blowing so hard I had to ride the bus up into the loop to run an errand. Going home I got on the LFP south of Navy Pier and had a blast riding home with the massive tailwind. It was blowing so hard that day that I was actually in my granny ring and one of the bigger cogs on the back and was still able barely manage about 10 miles an hour. I suspect tomorrow and Tuesday will be pretty similar to that storm last October. I may just drive both days and consider this week a write-off.

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I changed my typical route. Instead of NSCT I took Damen-Ravenswood-Ashland-ELT up north. Buildings seem to block some wind.

Definitely don't test! Take the street if you need to commute.

I remember that day.  I went through in the evening got soaked by a wave.  The wall's really not safe at all.  Going to work I normally get off at North Ave and go down State Street to Jackson (my own weird personal death wish, I guess) but I normally take the path all the way home.


Duppie said:

Tricolor,

Before you go and risk your life, take a look at this video. It gives an indication of what to expect. It is from a storm a little over a year ago.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Huge_Waves_Knock_Down_LSD_Bike...

You don't need to end up getting washed into the lake.  Between the risks of getting bashed by waves against rocks and the wall, drowning, hypothermia, etc., and putting potential rescuers at risk of the same hazards, it's just NOT worth it.

Cameron Puetz said:

Seriously, don't mess with the breakers. Waves coming over the lake wall will hit with a lot of force. Don't be in their way.

The LFP or an open field seem like poor places to ride anytime the conditions are uber windy.  With most city streets its really a question of what you want to do rather than danger. Sometimes the thought of riding with a 20 + mph headwind sounds like a great challenge. Sometimes its comical. Sometimes its hemorrhoidal.  To each his/her own.

Today a riding friend told me the difference between brave and foolish. You are brave when you go out and meet your buddies to ride on a day on an inclement day  You are foolish if you are the only one who shows up.  I think the same may apply to the location of your ride on a day like tomorrow.  If you ride tomorrow you are brave.  Bravo. Enjoy and  have a great ride.  If you ride the LFP tomorrow especially near north where the waves will sweep across the path, leave a note.  Let somebody know what to do with your cat.  Call your mom.

Wow, those people got NAILED!  It looks like the weather was a lot warmer than it is today.  I'd rather not get sucked into Lake Michigan. Be careful

I flew in this morning from the north on the LFP because of the tailwind, but not sure which way I'll take back yet.  I can handle a bunch of wind (challenge) on the LFP, but I don't know if the water situation is hazardous yet on the Oak Street curve and south of North Ave.  Probably best to take Dearborn up to North and get on LFP there?  I'm going to Jarvis/Rogers/Clark, and I'd rather have wind than the traffic/lights/stop signs.

FBC tonight! just saying

So do you guys think it's a bad idea to bike to work tomorrow morning? I don't bike by the lake so I think it might be ok... It's a short ride: damen to milwaukee to chicago

Too early to say right now.
Watch the news or weather forecast tomorrow morning and see how strong the wind is and which direction it's going, and you can decide then.

uhm..this is enough of a forecast for me to make my decision right now...winds will be persistently from the north...

"Stay off the lake folks," said Gary Schenkel, executive director of Office of Emergency Management and Communication. "Lake winds are going to be 50 to 60 mph. Waves could exceed the 24-foot mark. So please stay off the lake ... This could be a very dangerous situation."

The forecast for tomorrow is that the wind will steadily get stronger with sustained winds of over 30 mph at the time I normally go home.  Gusts will be worse.

Riding Kinzie, Milwaukee, Elston, Cortland, Southport after work today, riding into the wind was not bad, but the gusts and the "swirling" were a bit scary.  If the forecast does not change, it will be the Blue Line for me tomorrow.

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