One thing that is synonymous with Oklahoma is wind. The wind in fact, is the fourth word in our state song. “OKLAHOMA, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Oklahoma provides an excellent description of the weather Oklahoma athletes routinely train and compete in.
You can either embrace the wind or avoid it. I choose to embrace cycling in the wind, and view it as an opportunity to refine my aero positioning.
Riding into a strong headwind will require a substantial increase in you effort and will negatively effect your cycling performance.
The energy required to overcome a strong headwind is exponential. Which means you will burn more calories for a given distance traveled as compared to riding with a tailwind or in calm conditions.
With that said, I wanted to share a few of my tips for riding in the wind.
- Keep a small wind profile. Use your aero bars and or drops judiciously. Any time you are riding with you hands on top of the bars or on the hoods, you are not being aero and your performance will suffer.
- When riding into a headwind, watch your speed and notice how changes in your positioning will affect your perceived exertion and speed.
- Do not turn your head from side to side. Especially with an aero helmet on.
- Gear down and work on a smooth spin when riding into a headwind to keep your cadence up. Mashing small gears at a slow cadence in high wind is rough on your knees.
- Don’t wear loose fitting clothing as it can act as a sail and slow you down.
- Plan your route carefully to minimize the amount of time riding into a headwind. Try to start rides into the wind when your legs are fresh.
Remember, a positive mental attitude will go a long way in making riding in the wind less bothersome.
Plus what is the best part of riding into a headwind?
The point that you turn around and get to ride with a tail wind and really get flying.
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