The Chainlink

Just curious.  A friend told me that today. 

I didn't ride and I'm ok with it. I took the bus and read a book.

I don't mind snow or rain, but  the threat of 70 MPH wind was enough to put me and my good book on the bus.


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Ok while technically not "hydroplaning" wet pavement is still more slippery. There is less traction on the pavement, since the coefficient of friction between rubber and pavement is about half its normal value when wet. This means that half the force that is normally required would push you side ways. Lateral wind force is then vastly increased with high winds. I'm comfortable with either of these conditions alone, but combined it makes it harder to maintain control of a bicycle. Especially when going over areas such as bridges where higher wind gusts are possible and the contact area between the tire and grating is small and the coefficients of friction between wet metal and rubber is very low. While going for it isn't terrible its a calculated risk. Tall light riders are at greatest risk in a windy wet condition, since the wind forces would be high over the "side area" of your body and the lateral resistance of the tires would be lowest.



lauren sailor said:
according to The Great One, your bicycle cannot hydroplane. getting blown over by the wind, though, totally physically possible.

as for me, i was TOTALLY FLYING in the wind today. i mean, LITERALLY flying.
my flights into and outta midway were both delayed, but i made it ok :)
Liz said:
Riding a bike to work isn't a competitive sport. Taking a day on the bus much better than getting blown over by the wind and hydroplaning on wet pavement, or getting hit by debri. While I'm glad that people who did ride in made it safely, they don't get a medal for doing it.
The effects of riding on a wet pavement can be more than offset by proper tire choice. A good tire should allow you to traverse wet steel grated bridges with confidence. For me that means Schwalbe Marathon Supremes on both my commuter bikes: lightweight, smooth rolling, yet incredibly grippy on wet pavement. Main drawback: they are expensive.

Liz said:
Ok while technically not "hydroplaning" wet pavement is still more slippery. There is less traction on the pavement, since the coefficient of friction between rubber and pavement is about half its normal value when wet. This means that half the force that is normally required would push you side ways. Lateral wind force is then vastly increased with high winds. I'm comfortable with either of these conditions alone, but combined it makes it harder to maintain control of a bicycle. Especially when going over areas such as bridges where higher wind gusts are possible and the contact area between the tire and grating is small and the coefficients of friction between wet metal and rubber is very low. While going for it isn't terrible its a calculated risk. Tall light riders are at greatest risk in a windy wet condition, since the wind forces would be high over the "side area" of your body and the lateral resistance of the tires would be lowest.



lauren sailor said:
according to The Great One, your bicycle cannot hydroplane. getting blown over by the wind, though, totally physically possible.

as for me, i was TOTALLY FLYING in the wind today. i mean, LITERALLY flying.
my flights into and outta midway were both delayed, but i made it ok :)
Liz said:
Riding a bike to work isn't a competitive sport. Taking a day on the bus much better than getting blown over by the wind and hydroplaning on wet pavement, or getting hit by debri. While I'm glad that people who did ride in made it safely, they don't get a medal for doing it.
Let me tell you about crossing the Kinzie bridge today! Wind from the SW and through the grates.

It was strong enough on Milwaukee in Wicker park to make me get off and walk. Seriously I stood with my back to the wind as it lifted the bike slightly off the ground.

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