This plastic sheeting (at left) is giving me an interesting lesson in wind resistance. There’s a remodeling project going on here at work, and the facilities folks kindly put this sheeting up to keep the dust and debris levels down.
When I walk down the hallway, the plastic starts billowing outward — at first, just a half-inch or so right alongside. But as you proceed (at a fairly brisk pace, as I tend to do), the air-compression wave gets stronger and moves ahead of me as far as 15-20 feet. It’s a classic “bow wave” (think of the wave moving ahead of the bow of a boat).
|Yes, if I had to compare my normal bicycling speed to|
a watercraft of some sort, it would be this one.
I’m compressing and pushing a fairly significant air column out of my way just walking at 3-5 mph. Imagine what’s happening at 15 or 20 mph, let alone a Tour de France pace.