This is part two of an article looking at riding techniques for the worst weather. In part one, we went over some tips for snowy, blazing hot, and heavy rainfall conditions. In part two, we will look at riding in high winds and freezing cold temperatures. Let's jump into it!
When high winds rage across the landscape, cycling can be extremely difficult. Right up front we'd better say that sometimes biking is impossible (or impossibly dangerous) when it's extremely windy -- but there are some windy conditions that can be ridden in. Here are a few tips for getting it done.
If the wind is blowing from directly behind you, congratulations! You're getting the best side of the wind without any of the drawbacks, and this article isn't for you. However, if the winds are blowing from the sides or the front, this advice will apply to you. Read on and learn.
First, you will want to make sure to have the right posture. Try to block as little of the wind as possible -- the less resistance you have, the better. Tuck your elbows in towards your body and bend forwards to show as small of a profile as possible. This will be tougher on a mountain bike, but try. Every little bit helps.
If other cyclists are around and are experienced with the technique, try drafting or forming an echelon formation to block as much of the wind as possible. If possible, try to take a route that sticks to low terrain -- higher elevations are more likely to get blasted by the wind.
Along the same lines, try to secure any parts of your bicycle or clothing that may flap around in the wind, creating an annoyance or safety hazard and increasing your drag. Tuck in your jersey, tighten the straps and buckles on your bags, and make sure that everything is securely fastened. You don't want a nasty surprise when a loose strap blows into your chain, do you?