Showing posts with label wind. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wind. Show all posts

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Weather Widget / Gadget / Doodad Thing

Most reasonably small and simple weather things you can post on your web page don't have wind direction or speed on them, and that has always bugged me. You don't have to cycle very much before you start to really notice and want to know what the wind is doing.

That is why I'm pleased to now offer such a widget / gadget / doodad on my sidebar. I'm extra pleased that it is an Environment Canada doodad, free of strings or sneaky links to ads or anything like that.

If you don't live in London, but live in Canada, here's a link to the page that will generate your city-specific code:

I have re-sized mine a little to fit my page better... if you live in London, ON and want one just like mine (and really, who wouldn't) just copy n' paste the code below:

<!-- Begin WeatherLink Fragment -->
<iframe title="Environment Canada Weather" width="260px" height="230px" src="//;lang=e" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0"></iframe>
<!-- End WeatherLink Fragment -->

If you don't live in Canada, well, sorry. This is just one of the many things about my country that is better than yours. Don't get me wrong, I love and admire and even envy the < insert desirable quality here > of < your country name >. < Your country name > ain't Canada though. Not by a long shot. Canada so totally rocks it is almost embarrassing. Almost.

Yer Pal,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Waving Flag of Doom

This picture has nothing to do with this post. I just like it. It depicts Descartes opining on the notion that "Steel is Real". Now, to our regularly unscheduled program...

As Friday afternoon rolls by and work proceeds, I've been sneaking peeks at the waving flag outside my office window. The brisk wind that blew me in to work has stubbornly refused to turn around and push me back home. It is -11C right now and likely cooling. I think I'm finally going to need to cover my whole face with my balaclava.

This is not me. Or my balaclava.

If you ever need to know which way the wind is blowing, ask a cyclist. They will be happy to tell you tales of headwinds, tailwinds or crosswinds experienced in your town that very day.

That reminds me of one other bonus about riding in winter. When you aren't sure of the wind direction and you are outside, you don't have to find a flag or windsock or watch the trees or anything. Just keep on eye on your breath, or any nearby chimney.

A local cyclist who reads my blog and goes by "Skyers" commutes in the opposite direction I do here in London. I guess it is just as well that the wind has remained the same, because if I got my wish for a tailwind both ways, he would have been totally screwed over. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It seems to me that Mother Nature can be tricky enough without my selfish wishes adding to the mess.

Yer Pal,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Summer's Swan Song: Plugging My Ears

At about 10 degrees Celsius (48 F) I start getting earaches, especially if it is windy. I never hear other people complain about pain in their ears in this weather, and I am beginning to wonder if I'm a little odd in this regard. When I get to wondering if I'm weird, I naturally turn to a survey of unknown people on the Internet, because everyone knows that the readers of blogs are among the most normal and balanced individuals anywhere. So, cycling friends, answer me this:

Cool Winds...

In this time preceding balaclava / hat / headband action, I have found that plugging my ears with something is my best preventative measure against earaches. Most commercial earplugs, however, are designed to block out sound, and I don't like that. The best thing I have found so far for plugging my ears is about a third of a cotton ball. Sufficient wind reduction, without as much sound loss. I've often wondered if some cheap foamy stereo earbuds would work well... I could just snip off the wires altogether. I just keep forgetting to try it. If you use earplugs on the bike, let me know what's worked best for you. Because it really is quite annoying to me, I'm ready to try anything.

Yer Pal,


Hey, Wait! I almost forgot to wish all of my fellow Canucks a Happy Thanksgiving! I know I'm thankful as hell for a great many things. Here's hoping that you are too. Also, turkey sandwiches are the BEST.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cargo Shorts & Air-O-Space

Not Me.

I'm not overly concerned with being all aero or racer fast when I ride. If I were, I would have grave misgivings about my panniers, fenders and single fixed gear. Nontheless, I built my summer commuter to be as light and fast as a practical commuter bike could be. I enjoy going as fast as I can where conditions permit, and I will hunker down in the drops when riding into a headwind or just for optimum speed once in a while.

Before I continue, I wish to reiterate that people should wear whatever they want when they ride. Whatever you're happy in works, and you'll be more likely to ride in what you find comfortable. Lots of people wear cargo shorts. I've been wearing lycra cycling shorts for a few years now, despite the weenie factor, because they are what I find most comfortable.

Recently I found that I was out of clean cycling shorts, and threw on a pair of cargo shorts instead. After all, I used to wear them all the time. Having become used to leg-hugging bike shorts, however, they felt like gigantic air scoops, especially when riding into the wind:

No, that is not my butt. Those are the massive air intakes of a Harrier jump jet. My cargo shorts, however, do not come equipped with Pegasus turbofan engines, and so do not allow me to hover or propel me forward even at the Harrier's somewhat mediocre sub-sonic speeds. If they did, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this nonsense, but instead be hovering and blasting around town impressing the hell out of everyone. No, I think perhaps this picture better conveys how cargo shorts feel to me now:

There, that does it for me. Now in describing my opinions on cargo shorts for bike riding, I'll just say they "give me the 'ol reverse spinnaker". Wait, maybe not. I don't like sound of that at all. Ah well, I'm sure you get my drift, and that's good enough for me. I'm just gonna shut up for a little while now.

Talk about hopeless wind bags!


Monday, May 25, 2009


I am feeling very conflicted about wind. I used to windsurf quite a lot, and in those days I loved every and any kind of wind, because I knew I could use it one way or another. These days, however, I find myself both blessing and cursing the wind as it helps me or hurts me while riding my bike. Here in London Ontario (where windsurfing won't be happening, by the way) the prevailing winds are West or Northwest, it seems to me, with some nice variations in Spring and Fall. As such, as I ride eastward to work in the morning I most often enjoy a tailwind, and on my way home I can usually count on lower speeds and more work as I battle a headwind. Wind is the primary reason that I have drop bars on my bike... I spend most of my time with my hands on the brake hoods, but it is good to be able to really hunker down when riding into the wind.

In thinking about wind I have come up with a hypothetical that I would like to conduct a poll on. Here it is:

In Cycling Heaven, The Wind is...

After creating the first poll, I realized that there was a "that depends" element needing to be addressed. So, keeping in mind your first answer...

In Cycling Heaven, the Wind is...

I am hoping that the results will be nicely varied, just as people are. If you answered c) and e), respectively, please get treatment. You are a certifiable masochist, in my professional opinion as a velopseudopsychiologist. Please come in to my office, and we will use the over-worked vent holes near the front of your bicycle helmet to access your skull, drill some nice holes and let those demons out, just like I have to do twice a year for my most regular patient...

I'm winded. See you next time...

P.S. I now realize the second poll is flawed, since the first offers "dead calm". Those of you who answered a) on the first poll are kind of stuck on the second; sorry about that.