What is it?
MyWindsock founder Ben Norbury originally wanted a concise platform to tell him what wind conditions he would be facing for his next time trial, in order to predict any time differences and make tactical changes before his event. It’s primarily a real-time weather app for cyclists, that can tell you in seconds what conditions you can expect for a ride or race. It’s fully compatible with Strava, and you can simply paste the URL of a Strava course or segment into myWindsock to tell you what the wind speed and direction will be for the day on that particular route. The other main use is retrospective, as it will tell you wind info and data for past rides – which means ardent Strava KOM chasers can keep a tab on their favourite segment and go out and take it when the wind is most favourable! On the other hand, other myWindsock users will be able to see how much advantage said KOM winner got from their tailwind, and the app will calculate the more realistic time with no wind assistance.
What makes it unique?
The range of cycle-specific features all rolled into one make this a unique tool for cyclists. The 'Windlines' is a simple method of seeing straight away what your route has in store for you: mostly red and you're going to be facing a lot of headwind, mostly light blue and it's going to be a fast one. The weather data is comprehensive and captured from numerous different sources for high levels of accuracy. The majority is sourced through models and data points provided by USA NCEP, UK Met Office & USA NOAA. The data is then adjusted for wind shear, the slowing of air by surface frictions such as buildings, trees and topography.
How can it help me?
Knowing the weather conditions on specific parts of a course can be hugely beneficial for pack riders as well as time trialists; for example, if a racer spots that a point on a course where they planned to attack would be going into a huge headwind that day, it would make sense to change tactics because the peloton would reign you in far faster than with a tailwind assist.
Evolving from the attempt to answer a simple question: “Is it going to be hard out or back?” myWindsock now has a whole host of features to help the average cyclist as well as serious racers. The premium version also converts weather into watts, telling you what you've lost or gained in watts due to wind conditions. A Strava Weather Leaderboard allows you to see how well you've performed against others with wind conditions factored in, for a more accurate comparison.
Where can I get it?
My Windsock isn’t currently available as a mobile app, but the desktop version is fully functional on mobile so you can use it on the go with a standard web browser. Head to mywindsock.com to create an account, and you can start uploading data or browsing courses uploaded by others straight away. You have the option to upgrade to premium for £9.99 within the first 48 hours of signing up, and thereafter an annual subscription is £19.99.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.