10 tips for cycling in the wind
Cycling in the wind is something that happens quite often and is in fact a difficulty that affects all cyclists.
First of all, we hate to admit it, but unfortunately when you’re pedalling in the wind there’s not much you can do. Just as you can fight the cold by covering yourself, or the heat by cooling down, when you have to face the wind, you only have one solution: to face it.
What we can do is give you a few tips so that you can pedal safely and enjoy your outings on windy days.
1- CHOOSE YOUR ROUTE CAREFULLY
The wind always wins, full stop. However, it can be avoided if you’re smart.
The first recommendation is that you choose a route through protected areas, such as roads in the middle of the forest. Secondly, keep in mind that it is always better to face the headwind on uphill stretches or downhill ones than on the flat sections where riding in a headwind can become very annoying.
And finally, whenever possible, try to plan the route so that you have the wind against you (when you are more rested); and the wind pushing you on the way back (facing the wind with the fatigue of the kilometres you’ve ridden becomes even harder).
2- THE POSITION ON THE BIKE
It is very important to achieve the maximum possible aerodynamics, especially on flat searches.
For this reason, the advice is to keep the handlebars in a low grip, even in a side wind. If you use a potentiometer you can see an energy saving of up to 50W.
The low grip position is not very comfortable, we know, but it is the best alternative.
Rule number one is to dress correctly.
Rule number two is to wear technical clothing.
Avoid wide jackets, wide layers, anything that can create the parachute effect.
If you can, choose technical clothing that protects you from the wind, but does not keep you too warm: specialised brands offer a wide range of such products.
4 – LOW PROFILE WHEELS
It’s obvious that if you only have one pair of wheels, your choice will be forced. But if you get the chance, it’s time to use the low-profile wheels.
High-profile wheels provide advantages in road areas where you have a headwind or a tailwind, but when you face side winds, they are really difficult to handle and control.
5- AGILE CHANGES
The instinct of most cyclists when they have a headwind is to use high gears. But this choice will take its toll after a few miles. It’s better to roll lighter.
Pay maximum attention to the power you have, your heart rate, or your pedalling cadence.
6- GRAVEL OR MTB
In the middle of the forest, you already know, the wind is less. That’s why it’s a good choice on windy days to park the road bike and choose the Gravel or MTB to ride on more protected terrain. Gravel or MTB, little changes.
7- DETERMINATION AND CONCENTRATION
This is more psychological than technical advice. If it’s a day you feel depressed or unmotivated, don’t go out.
The wind wears you down physically but mostly mentally, so you have to be prepared to endure the frustration, the constant noise in your ears, etc. So, these days, it’s worth going out alone if you feel you are especially motivated.
8- MAKE A VIRTUE OF NECESSITY
Headwinds? Use them to do a specific job, paying attention to the heart rate and watts, but without looking at the odometer.
Tailwinds? Use them for agility and recovery.
9- RIDING IN A GROUP
Obvious, isn’t it? These days, riding in a group is even more favourable. Riding in a group will allow relays to be made. But above all, it is fundamental to make relays among all, this will allow us “to get less tired than if we had gone out alone, but for all to work hard“.
10 – HANDS ON THE HANDLEBARS
Please note: Forget about cell phones, waving to people you know, etc… Hands always steady on the handlebars! A moment of lowering your guard can turn into a real scare.
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