Author Topic: Cycling in the hurricane.  (Read 2239 times)

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Offline zerodish

Cycling in the hurricane.
« on: October 09, 2022, 06:26:32 pm »
I want to be the first to admit I made a big mistake. I have been out in 80 mph winds twice. Once in Salt Lake City on the interstate. An 18 wheeler blowed over. I took shelter at a rest area. Once in South Dakota also on the interstate. I was in my lowest gear the 20 front 39 rear going about 6 mph when I got hit by a gust that stopped me dead. The wind lifted me up when I stood on the pedal. I also managed to get to a rest area. I was in Tampa when I heard about the hurricane and decided the best thing to do is to get inland to high ground. I thought the winds would generally be going in the same direction as the hurricane. But hurricanes travel slow and the winds go around in a circle. So I faced head winds. I made it to Lakeland. I bought some coffee and sat down and watched the wind for a couple of hours. It was almost keeping up with the interstate traffic. At dark I went to my hidey hole under an interstate overpass. I could have checked into a hotel but I didn't trust them not to blow over. I stayed dry and out of the wind and slept well. The wind woke me up several times and I estimate it at 80 mph. Officially Lakeland got 60 mph winds. Lakeland lost some carports but no roofs. 

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Cycling in the hurricane.
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2022, 07:54:22 pm »
Interesting story.  As a side note, being under a underpass during a tornado is definitely not recommended and I wonder if it is the same in a hurricane.  I think the reason is the wind is funneled so the speed actually increases, sort of like a downtown area with lots of high buildings.  Glad you made it.  I sort have always thought that if the hurricane was traveling say NE, you would have a great tailwind if you were headed NE.  I guess that is not the case.  Admittedly, I have never been in (or near) a hurricane. 

Tailwinds (this time, pun intended), John

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Cycling in the hurricane.
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2022, 02:03:43 pm »
In '99 I rode a few miles in New York state to get to a motel in the early rain and wind bands of hurricane Floyd.  I was trying to get to a motel after the owner of the campground I was staying at tried to charge the normal two-night minimum for a less-than-bare-bones cabin even though there was no one else around.  (When he saw me about to leave, he radioed the office and tried to change his evil ways, but it was too late.)  Riding in a hurricane is not something I would recommend.

The next day, however, was beautiful, with clear skies.  I ended up doing around 134 miles but had to deal with a lot of tree debris on the roads, including one tree down across a road that I slid my bike under, and wade through a swollen creek.  Ended up getting a motel room in New Hope, PA because the campground I had intended to stay at was along the Delaware River and was flooded.  But I stayed on schedule. 

Offline Ty0604

Re: Cycling in the hurricane.
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2022, 07:41:14 am »
Fall of 2020 I was in Gulf Shores, Alabama when Hurricane Sally made landfall. It was supposed to make landfall near New Orleans but turned east extremely late and took everyone by surprise. All of the campgrounds in the Florida panhandle that I’d booked rightfully evacuated and closed. The hotels in Gulf Shores were either closed or booked.

Ended up biking 30 miles to Pensacola as the hurricane pounded the area. Tried to find a ride but didn’t have any luck. Took about 8 hours for me to get into Pensacola and find a hotel that was open.

When the hurricane made landfall that evening the hotel was damaged pretty heavily and we had to leave the next day.

Thankfully a WarmShowers host in Pensacola let me stay at his place that night and the next day gave me a ride out of the hurricane damage a few hours east to Marianna.

At the end of the day there’s nothing I would have done differently as the hurricane wasn’t forecasted to make landfall where I was.

This past spring I rode down the eastern shore as a bad Nor’easter slammed the area. Parts of Virginia Beach were flooded. But the wind was 30-40mph at my back and, except for the rain, it wasn’t bad. Riding was effortless. Unfortunately the ferries I needed to reach the Outer Banks were shutdown and I had to end the ride early. Caught an Amtrak out of Norfolk to my intended end point of Charlotte.

Such is life.
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