The wind can play a massive part in determining what sort of day you have out on the road. Here we take a look at some of the common issues faced by the dreaded breeze that can pop up anywhere, anytime.
A headwind blows directly against the course of the rider. A headwind is the silent assassin! A strong wind makes you feel like you have legs of stone and you’re going backwards. If you’re riding solo, make your body small, put your hands in the drops and tuck your body in. Attempt to create as little resistance as possible to that howling gale. Be sure to shift into an easier gear and relax your grip.
If you’re riding in a group, keep close to your fellow riders and draft in their slip stream. Take turns at the front of a pack and rotate the lead role. Even short pulls of a few pedal strokes help the communal effort. Co-operation works wonders in this situation. As long as you are within a bikes length of the rider in front of you, your energy expenditure will ease.
A wind blowing at right angles to a given direction. A crosswind is often one of the most difficult winds to deal with, especially when riding in a large group.
If you’re riding solo, have a look at the direction the wind is blowing and lean slightly into the wind. If you’re riding in a group, attempt to form an echelon. Echelons rotate from the sheltered side of the pack and then pull off the pack into the windward side. The secret to a successful echelon is to work together. Crosswinds usually cause issues in the Provence region of France during the Tour and regularly cost GC rider’s minutes or a spot on the podium.
Blows in the direction you’re headed, pushing you along. Your average speed will climb and you will feel like superman on the pedals.
If you’re riding solo, tuck your body into an aero position, which will help you cut through the air. But remember, what goes up must come down.
Your ride may take you on a journey back into a dreaded headwind and reality will come slamming home!
If you’re riding in a group, enjoy the rush! Riding in a peloton at high speeds with a tailwind is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have on a road bike. But be cautious. Avoid taking unnecessary risks that can lead to careless mistakes and crashes.
Plan Your Ride
Open roads along coastlines; especially the David Low Way on the Sunshine Coast often experiences strong winds from mid-morning. Take note of the wind at the start of the ride to avoid a hard slog home!