UP THE HILL and INTO THE WIND

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Here, the redoubtable Geraint Thomas is being thrown off his bike by gusting Belgian winds — only to get back on, finish third and enhance his growing classics reputation even more. Gent Wevelgem was carnage — which made for compulsive viewing and an absorbing race. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the race unfold — so many twists and turns.

Towards the end, it was like watching punch-drunk boxers make the final tiring efforts to knock out their opponent. You could see the fatigue in the faces and legs — gaps which would have been nothing to close down at the start of the race, became tantalisingly difficult; you could almost feel the effort of riders trying to mark down moves. With cycle racing on TV — you win some, you lose some. Make space for the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. The problem with watching a blustery Gent Wevelgem is that there is another side to the story. Carnage makes for excellent viewing, but also broken bones and seasons put on hold.

The fans love a side-wind, the riders want to minimise risk.


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I was caught in two worlds on Sunday. As a cycle spectator, I like epic weather for making great viewing. As a racer, I have a natural empathy for riders not wanting to have a bad crash — The UCI extreme weather protocol will have to make some difficult decisions.

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A wheel combination not advised in strong crosswinds. In retrospect, I made a mistake on Sunday to ride a discwheel and deep section front wheel with draft box on the back of bike for good measure. At 62kg I felt particularly vulnerable on the exposed downhills. Going down hill on Sunday was one day when I could have done with a bit of ballast — at least on the descent.

I did actually plan to use a normal front wheel, but I got a puncture before the race. When riding in the wind, the front wheel is the most important.

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Anything deep section can really catch the wind and make handling difficult. A rear wheel solid disc can be surprisingly stable compared to the front. Sometimes you just have to get your head down, zip up your flapping jacket and grind out the miles. The bad news is that into a headwind — generally, slower riders find it proportionally harder than faster riders. Speed Up Effects: Hill Effect. The wind in passing the summits of mountains becomes swift and dense and as it blows beyond the mountains it becomes thin and slow, like water that issues from a narrow channel into the wide sea.

Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci Let them know your plans, as a matter of safety and courtesy. Establish Firebreaks. Create firebreaks by raking or plowing around the area that you would like to burn. Keep that area free of vegetation and wide enough to protect what you don't want damaged outside the burn area. Ready Water and Equipment.

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Have a reliable water source available. Line up your hand tools such as rakes and shovels in advance and have them readily available for all participants. Begin with the areas that pose the greatest threat of becoming difficult to control. By beginning here, your fire is at its smallest size when it enters the highest fuel loads.

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Always try and burn into the wind, this slows the rate of spread and makes the fire easier to control. Keep debris piles small. Large piles generate enough heat to damage nearby trees, power lines, and structures. Do not hesitate to call if the fire gets out of hand.

The longer you wait, the bigger the fire will be when help does arrive! When finished, ensure that the fire is completely out. Numerous fires break out each year when smoldering areas are left behind. Make sure that your fire is out cold. What's the difference? Want an hour by hour forecast for your specific location?

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