...never fails--I get to the turnaround on an out-and-back, and the wind drops and then reverses direction. The only possible explanation is that I was very bad in a previous life, and now I'm paying for it.
...and then there are the rides like today's, which started out with dead-calm air, and then the headwinds kicked up just as I reached the foot of the hills I was about to climb.
First, I hate to pass anyone and not maintain or exceed my pace. But Sat., into a headwind, I came up on a husband/wife-looking couple and passed them although my HR was around 93-94%. Friendly, horribly painful competition ensued. With never more than a 50-75 ft. lead I had to maintain that HR for 18-20 minutes before they fell off. It was an incident made surreal by the slow (15-18 mph) pace and simultaneous agony. Highly recommended!
I could be wrong, but headwinds aren't like hills in terms of your weight being a factor. It's mostly maxing your power and minimizing your aero drag. The really strong riders seem to still do well in headwinds, meaning their speed doesn't drop dramatically. Yeah, really strong climbers can clear stuff in the big ring that would have most of our knees exploding, and our hearts taking leave of our chests, so what's my point? Anyways, one training method is to do big gear repeats into stiff headwinds, turn around, low gear/fast spin with the tailwind, back into the big gear/headwind and repeat until speed drops way down. A few weeks of these and I bet you notice a difference. Stay in the drops/aerobars too.
Can't discount the pyschological factors too, like some mentioned above. Don't hate it: embrace the wind! You'll appreciate calm days that much more. I moved to where I live because of the windsurfing, with the best days on the water described as 'nukin', or 'nuclear'. Well, when I took up biking, those same great on-the-water days turned into nightmares on rides. I'm not necessarily a great rider in headwinds because of it (yet!), but when I go to races/rides I'm never put off when it's windy, since that's what I ride in most days. A day riding in the wind (rain/snow, whatever) beats any day at my desk!
Sounds like the return trip from Ojai to Ventura...
...with the afternoon winds off the ocean getting funneled up the canyon--if I freewheel, the wind is strong enough to bring me to a stop, even on the downhills. There's something wrong when it's easier to climb than to descend.
A forum community dedicated to Road Bike owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about bike parts, components, deals, performance, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more!