A strong wind is lots of fun when it’s coming directly from behind. Most roadies have learned to make the most of it by sitting high with hands on the bar tops, exposing their back to the gale.
Here’s a way to get max benefit from wind that’s coming from a rear quarter, more of a crosswind than a tailwind.
Let’s say it’s blowing from the left. The trick is to angle your back so a larger amount of its surface catches those high-velocity air molecules.
Do it by moving your left hand to the drop and your right hand to the brake lever hood. This position twists you so your back faces more to the left.
Reverse the position for a right-side crosswind.
The helping hand isn’t as great as when, say, drafting another rider. But it’ll get you down the road a bit faster or with less energy.
Kerry Irons says
This whole idea is somewhat flawed. In order to gain an advantage from a direct tail wind, the wind has to be flowing faster than you are riding. That would be some wind. Given that posted wind velocities are taken 30 feet above the ground with no interfering objects (trees, buildings, shrubs), the actual wind at ground level is about a third of posted speeds. The net effect is that it feels good to sit up when we have a tail wind, it is still more aero to stay down.
Cross winds MIGHT provide some benefit from the “twist your body” concept, you might just twist your knees instead. The way to beat the wind is to stay in a comfortable aero position and grit your teeth.
Kerry. Fully agree with you. A tailwind blowing at a speed less than one is riding just lessens the resistance of the air and, in this case, an aero position is more effective. While not exact, if one is riding at 20 mph and the tailwind is 10 mph, the resistance of the air is reduced from what it would be when riding at 20 mph with no wind to about what is would be when riding at 10 mph with no wind.