Since we have had no participation on wind riding strategies, let’s talk through some of these items. I guess Liz is the only one concerned about wind for Eagleman. The rest of you are going to be surprised!
As for wind, you were correct to engage your core. This will allow you to efficiently ride WITH the wind. The more aero you can get, the better. However please recognize that riding against the wind does require more and better bike handling skills. It’s always more challenging to correct yourself (particularly around others) in the aero position. So practice definitely helps here and ultimately safety must be your #1 concern. If you are not comfortable in your aero bars, particularly with extremely windy conditions, you are better off not riding in them.
A few other things to think about, wind uses up more energy. Therefore you must adjust your nutrition plan accordingly. You will likely need more hydration and calories to compensate for this increased use of nutrition that the wind requires. You also must intake this nutrition in windy conditions. Small bites/sips on regular intervals is still key here while minimizing big movements against the wind. Practice makes perfect!
Wind can also overshadow the amount of sun you are exposed to. However you are still exposed to the sun and this can quickly lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke without you even realizing it. Be sure to put on sufficient sunscreen and lighter cloths to cover your skin.
Finally, if you are using race wheels, be sure to practice with them especially in windy conditions. Wind can ‘grab’ the race wheel and make it even more challenging to steer or maintain your position. If there is a cross wind, often race wheels, particularly deep wheels or disc wheels are not recommended. Bottomline, through on your race wheels and be sure to practice in them before race day.
Wind can be an energy suck. Thus you need to be sure that you are employing strategies to minimize the overall fatigue and damage that it can cause. This is why we suspected that this would be a big talking point discussion.
Does anyone else have strategies for riding in windy conditions? Thank you Liz for asking the hard questions!