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Author Topic: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?  (Read 961 times)

Boots

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Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« on: June 16, 2013, 04:41:25 AM »
Those who live in or have visited the San Francisco Bay Area know that the Dumbarton Bridge can be quite an interesting ride, let alone on a Bullet. This is basically a freeway speed bridge, three lanes in both directions, that spans the bay with steady strong winds that are broken by the ocassional violent gust.

I rode this bridge the other day and am still rubbing the feeling back into my white knuckles. At one point I had the bike pitched over into the wind at an aggressive angle and felt the squeeze between the speeding cars. One gust literally scared the S-H-I-toot out of me. My way of coping with these conditions was to simply submit to it, not to fight it. I'll think twice before crossing that bridge on the B5 again.

Any of you have an experience like this? Do tell.
Boots

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shamelin

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 05:04:27 AM »
I've been to San Fran, and the wind can be brutal.  You're a brave man to traverse the Dumbarton Bridge.

I've had scary, white knuckle experiences during bad windstorms on some of the elevated highway interchanges here in Texas.  Between the turns on the interchange and the windstorm, the direction of the wind was unpredictable, making it an even more harrowing ride.  Something that I'd like to avoid, if possible.

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2013, 05:07:03 AM »
Been on that one and the Bay Bridge a few times. Lots of other windy bridges too.  Just lean in and keep rolling. 

Scott

Rich Mintz

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2013, 05:48:47 AM »
The Verrazano, at the entrance to New York harbor, is similar. It's long, high, and EXTREMELY windy, both steady crosswinds and gusts. I thought the lower level would be more protected, but it just means that the cross gusts come like this: BLAST-(beat)-BLAST-(beat)...

But it's tolerable -- I just have to focus on staying upright and facing forward, and not tense up.

Arizoni

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2013, 06:35:12 AM »
When I rode over Golden Gate bridge both ways I was lucky and the wind was very mild.

The wind on California 101 between Salinas and Prunedale was brutal though.  It was blowing inland from Monterey Bay with strong gusts that would almost blow a biker into the next lane.  As soon as the bike was set up to withstand the blast it would totally stop causing me to swerve into the other lane.

Sense those days I've read (but never tried) that if you hang your knee outward away from the bike on the windy side it is supposed to reduce the effects.
I don't know if it is true or not.
Jim
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High On Octane

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2013, 06:51:10 AM »

.....Sense those days I've read (but never tried) that if you hang your knee outward away from the bike on the windy side it is supposed to reduce the effects.
I don't know if it is true or not.

I was just going to say this.  If you leave your knee hanging out towards the side the wind is coming from, it creates enough drag to offset the crosswind.  Living in Wisconsin, this technique was very effective against strong cross winds riding across the plains.  This trick seems too good to be true, but it works VERY well.

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1 Thump

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2013, 11:22:13 AM »
The Carquinez bridge will do that in car. The wind funnels down the gap storming into the bridge and the gratings make it worse

heloego

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2013, 01:05:51 PM »
@ScottieJ
Fer sure! It's an old trick and works 99% of the time.
Here in New Mexico it won't keep you from getting sand blasted, but at least you can stay in the same lane.  :)
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mattsz

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2013, 01:42:03 PM »
Boots - I don't know if there's anything of further interest there for you, but I posted a similar question awhile ago:

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,15962.0.html

jartist

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2013, 02:21:26 PM »
I did the bridge over suisun bay,  the 120 bridge in some pretty bad winds.  It was sketchy because the bridge is so narrow and steep.  I just had to slow down.  I did that 101 streatch in bad wind as well but I find the enfield really handles the wind well.  My KLR really got tossed by the wind bad.  I once had to slow down to about 25mph on a bad afternoon in the delta.  I don't know what the windspeed was but the tumbleweed didn't tumble- just flew by without hitting the ground and the powerlines made sideways arches between the poles.

Mcurrier

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2013, 04:00:09 PM »
I live in center city Sf and cross the bay bridge 3-4 days a week. The wind is not too bad on that bridge but the San Mateo and san raphael bridge can be torture. Riding along the coast is rough too some days,  come to think of it,  most rides here are windy and rough haha. 

Boots

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2013, 07:37:55 PM »
Gents,

I had never heard of the "knee into the wind" technique before, but I'm willing to try anything! This would allow for keeping the bike in the most upright position as possible while fighting the wind.

My usual approach is to lean the bike into the wind, but that leaves you vulnerable to an unexpected swerve when the wind suddenly stops or a huge gust blows across. It is frightening and no doubt the cause for all the recent gray hair in my goatee!

Thanks for all the input. Just gotta remember... When in doubt, windy knee out.  ;)

Boots

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Royalista

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2013, 09:20:00 PM »
I was just going to say this.  If you leave your knee hanging out towards the side the wind is coming from, it creates enough drag to offset the crosswind.  Living in Wisconsin, this technique was very effective against strong cross winds riding across the plains.  This trick seems too good to be true, but it works VERY well.

Scottie

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Single most effective way to deal with any winds, the strong steady ones and the gusty. 
Living in a windy area it is a trick learned young.

Leaning the bike can get one in trouble, especially with gusty and variable winds. They are so unpredictable. Nasty invisible beasts of prey, them; biting yet having no teeth.  ;D
moriunt omnes pauci vivunt

The_Rigger

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2013, 11:52:48 PM »
I've used the windward-knee trick riding my Goldwings over the Mackinac Bridge, which is five miles long from end to end. I'll be using it again in about two weeks when I take Fiona on Her maiden voyage across the Big Mack.

It works.
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Craig McClure

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2013, 05:03:23 PM »
I'm affraid of heights anyway, but never encountered big bridge winds. I have ridden over Grated bridges where you could look all the way down to the river-pretty scarey! 
   I have heard horror stories of Harley riders with both back & front ALLOY DISC WHEELS, being blown off the road, & remember learning of one Fatality in the Organ Mountains outside Las Cruces NM. Seems an Unfair way to end,where instead of your daring, your sense of style does you in.
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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2013, 06:05:07 PM »
i also discovered the technique at an early age. i call it "outrigging". works in most stiff crosswinds.
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jartist

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2013, 06:09:03 AM »
I've got to try it now!

AussieDave

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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2013, 06:42:05 AM »
i don't have a problem with bridges so far but about two months ago i was blown off the road and onto the footpath by the angryst wind i've ever felt. it was like a mini cyclone roaring through the city,people were clutching poles, umbrellas and street signs went flying several innocents were killed on the other side of the city were killed by a brick wall that was blown down. i can tell you honestly my knees were flapping but it didn't help.!
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Re: Windy Bridges... Your experiences?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2013, 03:37:33 PM »
i don't have a problem with bridges so far but about two months ago i was blown off the road and onto the footpath by the angryst wind i've ever felt. it was like a mini cyclone roaring through the city,people were clutching poles, umbrellas and street signs went flying several innocents were killed on the other side of the city were killed by a brick wall that was blown down. i can tell you honestly my knees were flapping but it didn't help.!

I'm pretty sure the proper technique for that situation is to seek shelter and duck and cover!   LOL   ;)

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