A carbon fiber tumbleweed

A high pressure system over the Rock Mountains created high winds over a big chunk of the U.S. West yesterday afternoon and last night.

US West wind advisories

The blue areas are where the U.S. National Weather Service issued high wind warnings through most of California, Nevada, and a big piece of Utah, which saw the worst of it with gusts to 100 MPH toppling trees, power lines, and tractor trailers.

In my town, a roof-mounted bike rack (with bikes) was torn from somebody’s car, though police couldn’t locate the bikes and rack last night. Maybe the whole pile blew like a huge metal, plastic and carbon fiber tumbleweed down the highway all the way into the Pacific Ocean.

Many cyclists (including myself) in my part of California planned our rides to take advantage of strong tailwinds last night. Winds were still strong this morning, which for me meant a 20 MPH headwind going to the office so I hopped on the light rail train instead.

How about you? How was your riding in the wind? How many broken branches, power lines and downed trees did you avoid?


  1. I came around a corner up at Montebello this morning, and was literally blown off the trail by a big gust (fortunately into a grassy meadow).  Lots of debris everywhere, and quite entertaining.

  2. Last year about this time I was wondering abotu collecting data on wind speeds, as it seemed we were having more high-wind days.   Is climate change bringing on the gusts, and should I be investing in companies that make things to keep fliers from blowing off tables at community festivals?
          Last time I was blown over was February 6, 2010 and it was one of the better things to happen that day. On a 33 degree day with ice and water, even studded tyres and a 45 poundb ike don’t hold with a 30 mph wind… so if y’all are doin’ lightweights… oy vey!   (I have had carbon riders tuck in my shadow so’s they could stay on the road, too, even on my aluminum bike.)

  3. Complete with bike lanes drifted over with leaves and tree branches.

    Power was out in my town when I got home last night, adding to the traffic fun.

  4. I am in Centerville Utah and we got hammered.  Most of the area lost power yesterday and they are still working on getting things fixed.  I drove into work yesterday and I thought my car (98 subaru outback with a yakima rocket box and two king cobras on top) was going to flip a couple times.  Semis were flipped all across I-15.  We had a couple trampolines end up on the freeway!  Not a very good day to ride (for wind and freezing temps… with wind chill it felt like 12 F)!

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