Windy

Dear J—

I’m not sure if I’ve explained it before but I don’t like riding when it’s really windy out there. If you consider that usually the aerodynamics of a bicycle don’t matter because you’re not moving anywhere nearly fast enough for it to be an issue, remember that form drag is proportional to velocity squared. These square-formulas are pesky; my usual speed, according to Google Fit, is in the neighborhood of 12–15 miles per hour. If you add a headwind of 12–15 mph, you’ve doubled the relative airspeed and the drag force working against you is now four times the no-wind situation.

Yesterday was the blusteriest day in the last week of bluster, and it feels like every afternoon, the wind picks up. I try to tell myself that it’s not a bad thing – hey, the headwind is keeping a nice breeze in your face – but I can definitely feel it in my legs when I get to Sunnyvale half an hour later and stagger slightly off the bike. My commute is not set up for me to ride with the wind in the afternoons; I should find a better way.

Mike

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