40 mph Wind Gust Riding

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Kay9Cop, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Kay9Cop

    Kay9Cop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    Probably the scariest ride I've ever had on a motorcycle today commuting from Anchorage back to Wasilla. I saw rain was in the forecast and actually rode because I wanted to see how the new scoot and the Scout tires would do, considering they are reported to be very bad in wet conditions. Very little rain, but that wind was brutal.

    Wasn't too bad in town, but once I hit Arctic Valley it was a hold on a pray for dear God proposition. I never left my lane, but I was on the ragged edge several times. I had my bike leaned over as far as I thought it would go and still couldn't keep it under control. I'm pretty sure the cages around me were very worried I would swerve into them, and rightfully so. My first thought was to stay in the middle lane and use the traffic as wind blocks, but that wasn't effective and cut down my reactionary space. I moved to the right lane doing 45-50 mph and was still leaving stains in my drawers.

    I pulled off at the weigh station scales and considered my options. My other half would be coming by an hour later and I seriously considered waiting and catching a ride with her; however, I decided to continue on. I got off at South Eagle River to get some gas. When I stopped at the pump, I didn't consider the wind was at my back and the bike almost got blown off the jiffy stand. Luckily, I was standing within inches of the bike and felt it start to rock forward. I caught it and leaned against the saddle bag while I fueled up.

    I rode the Old Glenn in order to stay away from heavy traffic, but that ran out at the North Peters Creek exit and I had to get back on the Glenn. In that area the wind gusts weren't too bad, but I was worried about the Eklutna Flats area and the Palmer Hay Flats. Eklutna wasn't bad, but as I rounded the bend I could see the gusts along the Knik were just flat unbelievable.

    I got off at the Palmer Alternate and rode towards Butte, taking the long way home. Even at slower speeds the wind still almost pushed me into the ditch twice. One time I rode through a natural funnel where the wind was straight at me and it had picked up a bunch of sand and rocks. The face shield of my helmet shows the wear it was that bad. Crossing the Knik River bridge in Butte I just dropped down to first gear and put my flashers on. I still got blown almost into oncoming traffic once.

    The worst part of the ride was crossing the Matanuska River bridge. I wasn't prepared for it and came at it too fast. I was on the right side of the lane thinking I would get right to left wind again, but there was a swirl and I got pushed to the right. I went out of the lane of travel and hit a patch of piled up silty sand. My incorrect natural reaction was to grab a handful of brakes to avoid plowing into the big concrete divider on the side of bridge, but luckily as soon as I did it I realized my error. I rode out the slide, just narrowly missing a collision with a fixed object.

    The rest of my ride home was still horribly windy, but it seemed like nothing by then. When I got home I saw the marks in the face shield of my helmet. I noticed my whole body was stiff from the white knuckle ride; speaking of which, my hands were cold from gripping the bars so hard that I had forced the blood out of them. I also noticed two wear marks in the paint on the sides of the tank where I had been gripping it so hard with my knees.

    So, the moral of the story: Wind f'ing sucks balls.
    #1
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  2. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Long timer

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    N California
    I hate riding in high winds. Makes me pucker. Something I've done a few times with high winds 25+ mph - I will find a big rig and ride along side the axles/tires to get max wind protection.
    #2
  3. Kay9Cop

    Kay9Cop Adventurer

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    I guess I underestimated how bad the wind was...the National Weather Service recorded wind gusts up to 90 mph in Arctic Valley today.
    #3
  4. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Anchorage, Alaska
    Glad you made it home okay! Thanks for sharing your story of an epic adventure just getting home from work!

    GF Joanie and I drove out to Beluga Pt this afternoon and had fun hanging out in the wind and watching the waves crash into the rocks. I could barely open the door to get out and had to help Joanie with her door.

    Mark H.
    #4
  5. AKmud

    AKmud Muddy Gruver

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    Lincoln, AR
    I had the same experience yesterday. I opted to stay on the New Glenn and cross the flats. Definitely the scariest ride I've ever had. There were several times I figured I was headed for the median. Crossing the Knik river bridge was the absolute worst of it though. The wind changed directions part way across the bridge. I was just praying I wouldn't hit the wall and fall over the edge! Crazy ride for sure.
    #5
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  6. Sneeze Juice

    Sneeze Juice Been here awhile

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    Mar 14, 2017
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    670
    Location:
    Charlotte,NC
    Luckily you made it home safe!

    The wind can be brutal. I've owned alot of naked style bikes, and have been caught in my fair share of high wind gusts, absolutely terrifying. I recently just picked a bike up, and the first ride home experienced high winds. Nothing worse than being leaned over going 80 mph, and the wind tosses you into the next lane. Nothing you can do about it either.


    Does the same thing happen to fully fared bikes?
    #6
  7. Kay9Cop

    Kay9Cop Adventurer

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    That's a good question. I have a 2017 Street Glide as well with a full fairing and I wondered how bad it would have been on that bike. It's much heavier and the center of gravity is lower, so probably a bit better.
    #7
  8. AK Box

    AK Box n00b

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    Anchorage, AK
    I almost got blown off the road in my truck. The wind was pretty wild yesterday. I had big tree come down and come about 10 feet from taking out my house!
    #8
  9. ZiggyInNc

    ZiggyInNc Been here awhile

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    What kind of bike were you riding?
    #9
  10. Kay9Cop

    Kay9Cop Adventurer

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    Jun 17, 2009
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    Wasilla, AK
    A 2004 BMW R1150GS.
    #10