Author Topic: What difference can the weather cause on a long ride?  (Read 104 times)

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Offline Westinghouse

What difference can the weather cause on a long ride?
« on: April 16, 2024, 07:18:26 pm »
I bicycled the southern tier alone from southeast coastal Florida to San Diego, California. It was in the highest heat of summer, at times 110 degrees F. Water was going in and out of me like I was a sieve. Baseline hydration was at least 6 full 47 ounce fountain drinks.  Add to that draining the water bottles, water and other beverages in restaurants it came close to three gallons of water daily. I could drink three gallons a day for four consecutive days, and not urinate at all.  The water went through me so fast it did not get to the kidneys.

I have bicycle toured and camped 36,000 miles through 19 countries.  Like other experienced distance tourists, I was outside in the elements in some dangerous and challenging surroundings. The worst events were sudden, unexpected, unforeseen, extreme changes in the weather. You know, like, you are slumbering comfortably in your tent and bag.  All is peaceful and calm. Then without warning the wind suddenly gains velocity and it is 30 mph, then 60 mph, then 70 mph.  The tent is hammered to the ground.  You hightail it to a nearby bridge and get under it. You crawl up the retaining wall.  You sit perched at the top.  The rain is coming in parallel horizontal to the roadway at 70 mph.  Interstate highway traffic stopped.  Tractor trailers pushed over on their sides. Thousands of bolts of lightning slamming to earth all around. It is dark night made to look like daylight with all those electrical bolts. A bobcat comes running in for cover. Lightning strikes fifty feet away, conducts through water across the road, and kills it. That is how I spent one night when bicycling across America.

Offline John Nelson

Re: What difference can the weather cause on a long ride?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2024, 07:30:15 pm »
Sounds like the makings of an article for the ACA magazine. Just add, "it was a dark and stormy night" in front of it.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: What difference can the weather cause on a long ride?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2024, 07:38:37 pm »
As a friendly FYI, it is highly recommended you do NOT seek shelter under a bridge during a tornado, especially up near the top of the retaining slope.  Over the years, I can think of a small handful of times I have heard of deaths from people doing exactly that.  I don't understand why (I still think it would be safer) but the weather people usually remind us not to do that here in tornado country.  Best to lay in a depression or culvert.

Tailwinds (from a tornado of course), John

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What difference can the weather cause on a long ride?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2024, 09:33:05 am »
As a friendly FYI, it is highly recommended you do NOT seek shelter under a bridge during a tornado, especially up near the top of the retaining slope.  Over the years, I can think of a small handful of times I have heard of deaths from people doing exactly that.  I don't understand why (I still think it would be safer) but the weather people usually remind us not to do that here in tornado country.  Best to lay in a depression or culvert.

I think there was a video (from early in the video days) of a couple who parked underneath an overpass and survived.  But the boffins say an overpass can funnel the wind so it's faster and harder under a bridge than in open territory.

Of course, the closest I got to a tornado, a cop stopped us all underneath the overpass near home and wouldn't let us go until the storm had passed.  Guess he hadn't seen the (years old) update.

Offline John Nettles

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Offline Westinghouse

Re: What difference can the weather cause on a long ride?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2024, 03:10:26 pm »
As a friendly FYI, it is highly recommended you do NOT seek shelter under a bridge during a tornado, especially up near the top of the retaining slope.  Over the years, I can think of a small handful of times I have heard of deaths from people doing exactly that.  I don't understand why (I still think it would be safer) but the weather people usually remind us not to do that here in tornado country.  Best to lay in a depression or culvert.

Tailwinds (from a tornado of course), John

Good that you mentioned sheltering under a bridge with a tornado.  I read a story about a man who did exactly that. I think he was in a car with this twister bearing down in his direction.  He figured getting under a concrete bridge was more secure than sitting in a car. He pulled over.  He went under the bridge, went up the slanted retaining wall, and wedged himself at the top.  The tornado tracked along the road and hit the bridge.  The powerful force of the wind sucked him out of his hiding place.  It threw him about 200 feet away.  He ended up in a roadside swale ditch.  He said his body felt like one big pin cushion.  The wind had embedded hundreds of splinters through his clothing and into his skin. 

My night under the bridge was with straight line winds.  There were two super cells, one coming from the west and going east, another coming from the southeast and going northwest.  First the one from the west hit with powerful winds going east. Later, the second hit with powerful winds going due west. In the morning the sky was clear blue. The the wind moved at a barely perceptible drift.