Santa Ana Winds - Heading South For a Promise of A Warmer Winter - CycleBlaze

November 12, 2018

Santa Ana Winds

Alpine to Pine Valley

2,738 feet of climbing today and we didn't even notice. The Santa Anna winds were very strong with 55 mile an hour gusts. Emma got knocked over on the Interstate. We had to get up on it for a a few miles and there just wasn't enough cover for us. When the wind hit head on we could stay on the bikes as long as we held on but the cross wind was brutal in the section that knocked Em over. We walked the bikes to get through until it was more like 20 mph and head on so we could ride and stay up on the bikes. 

The interstate - Trouble
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We made it to Pine Valley and all the power was out in the town. The officials purposely turned it off to avoid fires like the one in Malibu. Still, we had a nice room and cover for the night. The store was open and running things on generators so we picked up a few things. Coming back we met Brittany who is coming in the other direction with the wind and she was able to get a ride for some of it. We really enjoyed visiting with her. Picture coming up!

Today's ride: 18 miles (29 km)
Total: 1,823 miles (2,934 km)

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Bill ShaneyfeltOh, those desert winds can be brutal! The Santa Anna winds are notorious, and were for generations before I ever heard of them. In Mojave, they have constructed North America's largest wind farm (Alta Wind Energy Center).

I used to tell folks about the wind in Mojave, and got laughed at, so I mostly gave up, but the bushes there all lean to the east.
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1 year ago
Janet Anspach-RickeyTo Bill ShaneyfeltSuch a great way to use the wind for energy! I hope it isn't true that the power from the windmills confuses the rodents and bird life.
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1 year ago
Bill ShaneyfeltWell, there are many factors to wind electrical generation. Harvesting energy without pollution is a great thing, but it takes a lot of energy to make and maintain them. Still a good deal. They do much ecological damage, usually to fragile ecosystems. A problem, but still a good deal. They take up huge areas of land (20 miles long for the Alta complex, that is now fenced with signs forbidding entry into what was my playground where I rode my bike to hunt rocks, artifacts, lizards and other things). Still a pretty good deal. But locals hate them because they cover the landscape that used to be so scenic, and the red lights blink all night, and they make noise, so all in all, they are a good deal if they are somewhere nobody lives.

One of the ecological problems is bird kill. Blade tips can travel at speeds of over 190 mph, blindsiding and killing large numbers of birds, including bald eagles.
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1 year ago