Here's a nifty little app that we've been playing around with this morning. Headwind uses Dark Sky hyperlocal weather data to give colour visualisation and difficulty rating on Strava rides and routes.
For those of us riding to an office a few times per week, it can be rather annoying to find a block headwind to slog into on a day that we’d chosen for riding in. Some go as far as planning their trips into the office around the weather and if you’re in this club, then this new app could be perfect for you.
Headwind is a web-based app that syncs with your Strava account, providing a visual representation of the wind conditions on previous rides as well as over the coming seven days. Headwind hopes that this will allow you to plan the easiest days for riding to work.
This isn't the first app/website that we've seen doing wind visualisation for cyclists. MyWindsock does something similar, though the two apps cater to different crowds. MyWindsock is also a paid-for app with an annual subscription of £19.99 whereas Headwind is, for now, free.
Seeing as the office is currently closed, I created a theoretical commute to have a go with the app. Above is the route, with some weather data. The key here is that I'd be riding the 32km into a strong block headwind. That's denoted by the bright pink colour, with only a slight respite in a crosswind (orange) towards the end of the ride.
Below, you can see the difficulty rating for the coming week. I think I'd pick Tuesday and Friday. These are marked as yellow (or favourable) wind days which in this instance is due to the low wind speed rather than the wind direction.
Headwind uses Dark Sky API for the weather data, taking “the latest weather information for the exact latitude and longitude of the start of your ride” and then translating wind speed and direction stats into both a colour-coded overlay of your route, along with a difficulty rating. The app then shows you a summary of your route for the week ahead, allowing you to pick the easiest days for riding to work.
The app's designer, Ed Fryed, is a cyclist and web developer based in Perth, Australia. He says that he created the app so that he "could choose the best days to commute to work every week as I only cycle in 3 days a week and the wind here in Perth is insane at times. It's against me in the morning and then conveniently changes to the complete opposite direction like clockwork for my ride home."
Headwind says that this “makes it incredibly easy to quickly visualise how hard your ride will be and what sections of the ride will be a challenge.”
While you can create a route on Strava’s route builder, you don’t need to. The app allows you to ‘star’ your existing rides, for which you can then see the forecast data.
The app is currently free to use from headwindapp.com
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.