Defeat The Wind This Sunday
Blows opposite the direction you’re moving; you’ll feel like you’re working extra hard and getting nowhere.
If you’re alone: Make your body small, elbows in, hands in the drops, head in line with your torso, which you’ll want to position as close to parallel to the top tube as you comfortably can. Shift into a slightly easier gear and relax your grip.
In a group: Draft. Take turns at the front of a paceline; even short pulls of a few pedal strokes help the communal effort. As long as you are within a bike’s length of the rider in front of you, the effort is easier. Closer is better, but don’t overlap wheels.
Hits you from the side; you’ll struggle to stay on your line.
If you’re alone: Note the direction the wind is blowing (you’ll notice trees swaying or feel it on your face) and lean slightly into the wind.
In a group: Try an echelon. In this angled formation, riders align themselves on the protected side of a leader. If the wind comes from the left, for example, the second rider will stay behind and slightly to the right of the leader, and following riders will fan out behind him accordingly. After a short pull, the lead rider pulls off into the wind, drifts back, and the next in line takes the front spot.
Blows in the direction you’re headed, pushing you along. You’ll feel worthy of rainbow stripes.
If you’re alone: Enjoy it while it lasts: Your route may circle back into a headwind. If you’re trying to gain speed, tuck your body into an aero position, which will help you knife through the air.
In a group: Time for a sprint. High speeds create the illusion of bigger gaps between riders, so use that to your advantage and make a move. But be careful. A tailwind can also fool you into thinking you’re having a great day. Avoid taking unnecessary risks that can lead to careless mistakes and crashes.