Tips: Wind

Most people hate wind and it keeps them from riding but the fact is that it equals out at the end of the ride. Unless the wind picks up during your ride and you have a headwind back, you have the same amount of wind against you as you have tail wind.
I actually like riding in the wind. It’s the same as the effort you put in by riding up a hill for the fun of flying down the track. Sections like Shrek’s driveway suddenly become twice as fast and you can ride at the same speed the pro’s are doing at race pace. Isn’t that exciting?
Now here are some tips to make the wind your friend:

Read the weather forecast: Is the wind picking up or calming down. You don’t want to ride into the wind and find that when it time to turn around the wind has died. If you plan it well you can cruise up and fly down.

Wind breaker: Wind chill is probably what keeps most people from riding in the wind. A good wind breaker makes all the difference. Make sure your wind breaker is not too loose as it will flap around and that costs a lot of extra energy. When you are fitting, try the cycling position. No hoodies; they work as parachutes.

Choose your route: Start with a headwind so you can enjoy the tailwind on the way back. Sometimes you can take advantage of the shelter from the cane or a line of trees.

Smaller is better: Smaller people do have an advantage but even if you are tall you can make yourself small. Place your hands on your handle bar as close to your stem as you can, keep your elbows in and bend down. Keep you head down (but still watch where you are going) All these things add up and make a big difference.

The tricky stuff: Watch out for fallen branches. Try to treat then as roots and approach them at 90 degrees. Sometimes they are caught in your wheel. Try to stop asap to avoid damage. I am not a big fan of locking rear wheels but this is the exception. If a branch is tangled up in your rear wheel, lock it to prevent the branch rotating into your derailleur and causing damage.

The tricky stuff 2: Jumps – wind from the side blows your bike from underneath you and that is difficult to correct. A tail wind makes your approach faster than usual so beware of over jumping.