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How the Weather can Affect your Speed

This year has given us a lot of uncertainty. One thing that will also remain uncertain is the weather. However, with a bit of understanding of how the weather conditions will affect us on the bike, we can gain a better control of our emotions in relation to it. I would recommend always checking the forecast before you leave, so you can be prepared and know what to expect.

Wind

Probably the most obvious one. If you are cycling into a headwind you are going to go considerably slower. A side wind will affect your balance. Take extra caution when turning and be aware of a change of force to the wind. The good news is that if you have a tail wind you will be able to cycle faster. Check the forecast before you leave for your ride. To avoid cycling into the wind you could be to travel in the direction of the wind and take the train home.


Rain or Wet Roads

Cycling in the rain can be unpleasant, so if you opt to go out make sure you wear waterproof clothing. If you are cycling on wet roads if it’s raining or not you will have less grip on the roads, it becomes more dangerous, so you may be more cautious in cornering and braking. If you are riding with a group make sure you use mudguards as courtesy to any riders behind you. Avoid hills as they will provide further dangers. Riding in the wet will take some practice and build your confidence.


Icy Roads

Stay home. Riding on icy roads is a huge hazard, even if most of the roads appear thawed, you can experience black icy which you cannot see and also parts of the road that do not get any sunlight.


Extreme Heat

Your body uses energy as a cooling system. This is why you sweat. If you exceed temperatures of 30 degrees, you will expect that your speed will drop and it will be unlikely to put out your best performances. When riding in the heat ensure you drink plenty of water. The good news is that your body does adapt to the heat and there are positive training benefits as you face the challenges of training in the heat.


Extreme Cold

Unfortunately, cycling in the cold also slows us down. The air density can slow us down and also there will be added rolling resistance to the tyres. It doesn't end there you use more energy to keep your body warm, so make sure you eat a little more on longer rides and it’s not uncommon to feel even more hungry when you get home. Make sure you wrap up and wear the correct kit and extra layers designed to protect you for the temperatures. Again the kit will keep you warm, but the extra layers will limit your movement which will also slow you down.


Whatever the weather, be prepared and don’t give yourself a hard time if you are cycling slower than usual. Keep safe and keep cycling regularly. Be confident that it will be improving you as a cyclist even through your speed is not always going up.


Share in the comments, what is your least favourite weather to cycle in?


Book a free discovery call with me to help with your cycling.


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