always take the Weather with you

23 11 2009

The Wind Vane

I quite often find myself looking out the window at the wind vane perched upon the building across the road. Its actually quite handy having it there, although, it does almost always tell me the same thing – its windy – which almost always leads to the same response – bloody typical Wellington weather.

This lovely city that I live in has a mean wind speed of 22km/h (New Zealand Wind Statistics 1971-2000). What does that really mean? Well let’s make a wee comparison. Is it fair to compare Wellington with Antarctica – the driest, coldest, windiest, continent on Earth? Well, Scott Base in Antarctica has a mean wind speed of 21km/h. Wellington takes the cake.

Two more fascinating tidbits of information: Wellington has an average of 22 days per year with mean wind speeds over 63km/h (40 knots) – Scott base has 27. The strongest wind speeds in Wellington were recorded at Hawkins Hill of 248km/h (134 knots) on the 6th of November 1959 and the 4th of July 1962.

Today I was humming and harring, looking at the wind vane and lying like a lounge room lizard trying to decide whether or not I’d go out for a ride. It looked windy outside but it always is. So, singing like a bird released I decided not to think too much and just got out there. I was wanting to attempt a time trial from the Freyburg Pool to the set of lights at the top of Happy Valley Rd in Brooklyn, a 30km course. It was a chance to compare myself to some other local road cyclists who had set up a leaderboard on Vorb. Alas, it was just way too windy for any sort of time trialling today…..

So I ended up battling headwinds and crosswinds and all other sorts of winds on my favourite route around the bays.

Wahine Memorial Park

View Across to Pencarrow Lighthouse

The Monza at Lyall Bay

One thing I did learn from my ride today is the importance of riding on fully pumped tyres.

The ride felt a lot easier, which I’m putting down to being really pedantic this morning about the pressure in my tyres.

So, the stats:
Distance: 32.76km
Time: 1h31m50s
Average Speed: 21.3km/h
Max Speed: 41.7km/h

You can see the ride profile here:

View Interactive Map on




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