Let your favorite weather app choose your route.
In lots of places (especially flat places), wind direction should be the number one factor in deciding which roads to ride. I was reminded of this during a recent week with lots of wind.
The idea is to ride a route that takes you into the wind on the way out. You’re feeling fresh and strong starting rides, so pushing into the invisible wall isn’t a big physical or mental strain.
It gets a lot tougher, though, if you sail through the first half of a ride with it at your back, then have to battle a headwind with waning energy.
Wind direction is especially important as cold weather sets in — often accompanied by brisk breezes.
Starting into the wind, you’re dry and comfortable. The airflow keeps you from overheating even though you’re putting out effort. When you turn back, you have a helping hand pushing to push you home.
Starting with the wind, you’ll overheat as you pedal in what’s effectively still air. You’ll sweat and get damp. Then when you reverse course, the cold headwind will penetrate and freeze you.
TIP: If you’ve already started your ride and you don’t want to stop and look at your phone, check flags to get a good read on wind direction.