Cycling Tips – How to Ride in Heavy Winds

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Attorney J. Christopher Llinas practices law in Ocean Pines, Maryland. When not tending to his professional duties, Christopher Llinas can often be found running or cycling. He enjoys triathlons, and most recently completed a remarkably windy Ironman in Maryland.

Whether you are battling severe headwinds in a competitive race or just trying to ride around town, windy conditions can complicate any bicycle ride. For best results, consider these tips.

1. Pay extra attention to aerodynamics. Pull your elbows in, lower your head, lean forward, and tuck yourself down as much as you can. Tight clothing can be beneficial as well. Any reduction in drag improves speed and safety in the wind.

2. If riding in a group, consider riding single-file. Even if you do not draft aggressively, taking turns facing the headwind makes it easier for everyone. In severe crosswinds, riders can drop back and to the side. This formation is known as an echelon, and it protects cyclists from sudden gusts.

3. If crosswinds are particularly hazardous, consider using shallower rims, no larger than 50 millimeters. The further the rim extends, the greater its surface area becomes, and the more it catches wind like a sail.