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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Rode home this Halloween evening (around 6:00 pm) along the LFP from the Museum campus to just north of Foster Ave. There were some interesting waves washing up along the Oak Street curve but it was easily negotiable. Funny thing, riding north there wasn't much headwind at all. Plenty of cool waves crashing up along the shoreline. Fun ride!

I live right off Lake Shore and 49th, and have this same issue.  Using something other than LFP to go north is possible, but I agree it's a pain in the ass.  

I, too, let the threatened weather keep me from riding this week, when I likely would have been A-OK.  There are times, however, when I just tire of fighing the wind.  But I don't really seriously consider taking the non-LFP route to avoid the wind.  Rather, I just don't ride those days.

kiltedcelt said:

[Snip]  Riding the streets is an option - I had to do that during NATO, but it's a bit of a pain in the ass, especially the streets south of 35th. I've thought about working out some sort of streets alternate route to the LFP but I've never come up with a good route north from where I live at 57th. State is a pretty good road for going straight north from what I experienced during NATO, but that was only from 35th/31st northwards. I was able to jump back on the path south of there so I've only done streets a couple times heading south in the summer, and only then because I wanted to avoid barbequing yahoos on the path during holiday weekends. 

Most Subways are underwater, long lines for buses, no power to many gas stations, so people are buying bicycles. 

In my opinion, the worst part about the wind on the LFT is the sand that blows across the path, especially between Fullerton and North Ave.  It's like riding through a sand cloud, and you get a ton of sand in your chain, on your gears, etc.  You can hear it grinding as you pedal.  It also gets on your brake pads, and when you pull the brakes you can hear the sand grinding against the rims.  I didn't notice it for a few days, but when I looked at my rims they were coated with a layer of powdered aluminum   

One time last year I had freshly oiled my chain & gears, tons of sand was blowing across the trail, and it actually ground my chain to a full stop.  Everything was so coated in sand that my chain jammed in the rear derailleur and wouldn't move forward.

Lesson learned: use less lube, rinse bike frequently.

I actually commuted to river north on Monday and it was pretty windy in the evening on the way back home. My route usually consist of Elston st, but it was so hard to ride back Northwest from downtown. It took me 20 minutes longer to get home and my body was achy. I've been commuting for about a month though.



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