Monday, April 4, 2011

The Perpetual Headwind: A Not-So Scientific Explanation

Headwind? I say vacuum.
Attn: Scientific Research Department at The Best Bike Blog Ever
Upon my recent excursions on the road I am again left to ponder the physics of "The Perpetual Head Wind."  You leave in a head wind. Turn every direction into a headwind and when you are officially bonked & toasted like a forgotten marshmallow over a campfire you turn for home into a small gust that feels like a revisit of Hurricane Ike.

It seems like every cyclist has experienced a ride like this. I humbly apologize if I have missed this post. If not, I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. :o)

White Bar Tape Forever,

Artist Rendering: Perpetual Headwind in Ohio River Valley
Dear JH,
We were among the church congregation at the Sisters of the Merciless Wind this past Sunday in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati is a very unfortunate place to ride when it’s windy.  There are four major river valleys in the area: The Great Miami, The Little Miami, The Licking and of course The Ohio River.  Route 8 which winds its way along the Ohio River is a perfect example of the phenomenon known as The Perpetual Headwind.  You’re in a headwind going west, east, uphill and then, expecting to be able to coast, you’re demoralized by the diabolical downhill headwind. 

The scientists at The Best Bike Blog Ever’s Scientific Research Department, who coincidently didn’t make the cut at Consumer Reports, have come up with an explanation for The Perpetual Headwind.  They think it has everything to do with Dyson Vacuum Cleaner’s patented cyclone technology, or something as freaky as an Englishman who spends too much time with vacuum cleaners. 

It's Science Dammit!
To help explain the theory, our idiots created a mock Ohio River Valley.  They took 2 patented wind wafers and meticulously adhered them to a thermoplastic flat surface.  You can do this at home or in your office with two Post-It-Notes and a CD jewel case.  Picture the post it notes as the ridges of the Ohio Valley and the CD jewel case as the river.  If you blow a westerly wind down the center, what do you think will happen to the ridgelines? 

They’ll blow to the outside of course!  No…no they don’t.  They blow inwards.  How can that be?

Sort of Freaky Isn't It?
You see, when wind blows down a valley, it creates a Dyson Vacuum effect.  The vacuum draws wind from around the other side of the ridges to fill the void in the valley.  What you think is a westerly wind on Route 8, turns into a headwind no matter which way you turn.  Ladies and Gentlemen, the Best Bike Blog Ever official puts the mystery of “The Perpetual Head Wind” to bed.  Good night.


Taxfun said...

I look forward to your research on reversible tectonics. GOING UP HILL. BOTH WAYS.

Jerry said...

Brilliant!....It all makes sense to me now....

dean schmiedel said...

i love ya brother but that first one's just a creepy pic...

dean schmiedel said...

oh yeah-
this happens to runners all the time too...hey Ra'ch'

Joe Biker said...

deano...get a Facebook account! R says hi back.