Wind Effect on Bicyclists in Urban Areas

 

Testing of bicycling comfort in strong wind gusts and discussion of obesrvations
The effect of a strong side wind gusts on the bicycling comfort was tested with a wind machine used for special
effects in film industry. The study was prepared by preliminary tests and discussions of the observations.
(photos: Mikal Schlosser)

In many cities bicycling is a very popular and well integrated form for individual transportation. Similar to pedestrians, bicyclists are exposed to the local climate conditions amongst which wind is the most important parameter. When planning a new city development on in case of re-organisation of urban areas the future wind conditions are generally investigated by means of wind tunnel testing or numerical wind simulations. In order to assess the quality of the new environment with respect to pedestrians and bicyclists comfort criteria are required. For pedestrians a large range of criteria and investigation methods have been developed over the last decades. However, for bicyclists a similar profound set of wind comfort criteria is still missing.

Installation of measurement equipment, test performance with 16 test persons and registration/measurement of the reaction to the wind gust

To control the test conditions measurement instruments were installed in the airflow. The reposne of the test
persons to the strong side wind gust were measured and documented through video recordings and
observations notes. (photos: Tomas B. Nordlund)

 

The project focuses on the development of wind comfort criteria for bicycling in urban areas based on practical experimentation/measurement under laboratory conditions. On December 10, 2012 practical studies have been conducted on 16 test persons bicycling across a strong wind gust created by a wind machine usually used for special effects in film industry. 

Results, conclusion and recommendations from this study will be submitted in 2013 for publication in a scientific paper. General information is already available in following news media (all in Danish language):

DTU avisen (DTU newspaper – pdf document)

DR viden (Danish Broadcasting Service – website article)

Ingeniøren (Danish weekly newspaper specialising in engineering topics – website article)