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Segment achievements grouped by wind direction

Daan
Shkhara

Could weather data be enlisted to create a new grouping of segment achievements (similar to the age / gender / weight groupings) based on wind direction? Wind assisted PR’s and KOM’s can be impossible to compete with. 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

eric
Elbrus

I tend to agree with @anchskier on this one. I'm a bit of a KOM collector myself and over the course of the past 9 years, a bunch of them are wind aided. In my view, that's a normal part of cycling (especially road cycling), and therefore not cheating in any way. When I ride in the wind, it's always a loop or an out-and-back, so it works both ways. While most cyclists don't share my enthusiasm for wind, I enjoy the challenge of riding in headwinds and crosswinds. I enjoy the payoff of a tailwind after grinding into a headwind. 

Some segments are obviously more prone to wind assistance than others. For example, a segment that is unidirectional and is largely unobstructed will be much more sensitive to wind.

As a paid subscriber, weather data (including wind direction) is listed on all my activities. As anchskier mentioned, that's not entirely accurate. However, if there is something like a 20MPH directional wind listed, you can be pretty sure it was a significant factor. I also include power and HR data on all my rides as much as possible. So if I achieve a KOM, others can get a pretty clear picture of how hard I was working and how much of a factor was the wind.

When I see road KOMs that have no power or HR data, I view it as a slightly less reputable KOM.

In a popular cyclist community like where I live, it can be pretty much assumed that eventually almost all KOMs on the map had a tailwind, or at least didn't have a headwind. OR... they were riding in a group.

Riding in a group can obviously have as much or significantly more benefit than a tailwind. So if we were going to breakout KOMs by wind direction, it would make as much or more sense to break them out by group vs solo. In my area (again, popular for cycling) a huge chunk of KOMs are achieved within a group AND a tailwind. As a solo rider, I find that a little frustrating at times, but again riding in a group is definitely normal for road cycling and not cheating.

My top solution for getting around the wind issue...

Look for and create new segments that are not unidirectional. Especially look for full loops or full out-and-backs. Those are great for competing with your own PR or a KOM without a directional wind putting it out of reach. Wind can still be a factor on those, but it becomes more of a strategic and skills issue.


Strava profile: https://www.strava.com/athletes/3170505 (Check out my daily photos!)
Strava member since 2013

View solution in original post

3 REPLIES 3

lystrab
Mt. Kenya

Can Strava make a leaderboad specifically for rides conducted under 10 mph winds (or some similar best practices wind speed for road biking)?  That way you can preserve all time records in all conditions but also see who is performing and producing watts without the aid of mother nature.  I would love to see some fine tuning of the road biking leaderboard and I think your subscribers would really appreciate those upgrades.  

eric
Elbrus

I tend to agree with @anchskier on this one. I'm a bit of a KOM collector myself and over the course of the past 9 years, a bunch of them are wind aided. In my view, that's a normal part of cycling (especially road cycling), and therefore not cheating in any way. When I ride in the wind, it's always a loop or an out-and-back, so it works both ways. While most cyclists don't share my enthusiasm for wind, I enjoy the challenge of riding in headwinds and crosswinds. I enjoy the payoff of a tailwind after grinding into a headwind. 

Some segments are obviously more prone to wind assistance than others. For example, a segment that is unidirectional and is largely unobstructed will be much more sensitive to wind.

As a paid subscriber, weather data (including wind direction) is listed on all my activities. As anchskier mentioned, that's not entirely accurate. However, if there is something like a 20MPH directional wind listed, you can be pretty sure it was a significant factor. I also include power and HR data on all my rides as much as possible. So if I achieve a KOM, others can get a pretty clear picture of how hard I was working and how much of a factor was the wind.

When I see road KOMs that have no power or HR data, I view it as a slightly less reputable KOM.

In a popular cyclist community like where I live, it can be pretty much assumed that eventually almost all KOMs on the map had a tailwind, or at least didn't have a headwind. OR... they were riding in a group.

Riding in a group can obviously have as much or significantly more benefit than a tailwind. So if we were going to breakout KOMs by wind direction, it would make as much or more sense to break them out by group vs solo. In my area (again, popular for cycling) a huge chunk of KOMs are achieved within a group AND a tailwind. As a solo rider, I find that a little frustrating at times, but again riding in a group is definitely normal for road cycling and not cheating.

My top solution for getting around the wind issue...

Look for and create new segments that are not unidirectional. Especially look for full loops or full out-and-backs. Those are great for competing with your own PR or a KOM without a directional wind putting it out of reach. Wind can still be a factor on those, but it becomes more of a strategic and skills issue.


Strava profile: https://www.strava.com/athletes/3170505 (Check out my daily photos!)
Strava member since 2013

anchskier
Elbrus

There is no realistic way to determine whether a segment effort was "wind assisted".  Strava and other programs source their weather data from nearby weather stations, not from anything right where the rider is riding at any particular instant.  Winds vary a lot unless you are in a wide-open field.  What is being measured at a weather station a half mile away could be 180 degrees from what is being felt where the person is riding at the time.  I totally get what you are saying, wind-assisted efforts can be really hard to beat, but unfortunately there isn't any realistic way for a program like Strava to accurately determine what weather conditions were actually impacting someone on a particular part of a ride.

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