If you’re the type of cyclist who takes Strava seriously or if you’re just a data nerd, you might find value in MyWindsock.com. This platform combines current and historic weather data with Strava segments so you can find out if your arch nemesis took your KOM with the aid of a tailwind, or if they really are that much faster than you.
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Aside from figuring out who had the weather on their side, MyWindsock offers users the ability to see how the forecast could impact their planned rides, when you can enjoy a tailwind and when you should expect to fight a headwind.
Users can copy and paste the URL for a Strava segment or complete route into the website. You can also upload GPX and TCX files.
The weather data is sourced through models and data points provided by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Centers for Environmental Prediction, along with the UK Met Office. The data is used in conjunction with geographic data to adjust for buildings, trees and topography.
After crunching the numbers, MyWindsock spits out the expected wind direction and speeds in an easy to understand graphic display — red for headwinds, purple for crosswinds and light blue for tailwinds — for the date and time you plan to ride.
Premium members can also look at historical weather data for past efforts as well as a host of other metrics.
The introductory price for an annual premium membership is £9.99 / $13 / AU$17.
The most interesting of premium feature might be the full leaderboard for Strava segments. When authorized to pull data from your Strava account, you can view past rides in the context of the weather — was the wind at your back when you set a new PR, or you were really working extra hard against it?
Mywindsock.com is the brainchild of Ben Norbury, a web developer and cyclist who is fond of time trials and data.
“The most common conversation at time trials is the wind direction. At any point in time you'll here a comment similar to, 'it'll be fast out, hard back,’” said Norbury.
“I wanted to be sure myself. I am a big believer that to go fast, you have to be mentally prepared. Having some degree of certainty over the course conditions assist me in this preparation. I also wanted to know whether it was a slow day, or did I just poorly execute the race,” he added.
According to Norbury, the utility of Mywindsock.com goes beyond athletes who race against the clock.
“Even a commuter wants to know if the ride in will be a slog, or if the slog will be on the way home after a tiring day's work.”
Visit https://mywindsock.com/ to try it out for yourself.