Don’t Forget Wind Chill

One of the many pleasures of cycling is that cool breeze we generate as we pedal along on a warm summer day. I can’t think of any other physical activity that offers such a pleasant breeze to help to keep us cool during physical exertion like cycling. However, as the weather gets cooler that same breeze can make it feel much colder than the actual outside temperature.

Staying warm is crucial l when cycling in the winter. Unfortunately, the outside thermometer alone is not a good indicator for selecting cycling clothing in colder weather. Cycling speed can also have a big impact on wind chill or perceived air temperature. Fortunately, it is easy to approximate wind chill by multiplying the wind speed by 0.7 and then subtracting that value from the air temperature. But, don’t forget to factor in your cycling speed for this calculation.

Example:

  • Formula
    • Wind Chill = Outside Temperature – (Wind Velocity x0.7)
  • Where
    • Outside Temperature: 45 degrees Fahrenheit (°F).
    • Wind Velocity: 18 mph (Wind Speed 3 mph + Cycling Speed 15 mph)
  • Wind chill
    • Wind chill = 32.4 degrees Fahrenheit (°F)
    • 45 degrees Fahrenheit – ( 18mph*0.7)

Not good with math or don’t want to be bothered by the calculations? Then just click here on the Wind Chill Calculator.

Don’t be afraid of cold weather cycling, just be prepared. Layering up is the best way to stay warm and remember that too many layers are better than not enough. You can always take a layer off  and enjoy the ride.

Ken Whittaker


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