We’ve seen a lot of cool uses for Strava’s open developer API setup over the last couple of years. There have been tools like VeloViewer & StravistiX that we’ve been able to use to crunch more data and get some unique visualizations, and there have been things on the opposite end of the spectrum like Perfecto & Bike Index that tie bikes to users to help sell bikes & get back stolen ones. But one of the most amusing, if possibly actually useful tools has been Segment Ninja. It pulls in segments in your area and combines them with weather forecasting to help you plan your attack to get that KOM back. While certainly a bit more ethical than the old Digital EPO (which thankfully seems to have been discontinued), Segment Ninja shows you which segments might benefit from the prevailing winds…
The premise is simple. Pair a list of segments with the current and projected winds in the area. Keep an eye out for segments where you might be close to topping that leaderboard (or just one-upping a riding buddy) and head out when a favorable tailwind might be there to push you over the top.
We haven’t ridden any of our local segments with the guidance of Segment Ninja yet, but maybe it isn’t such a bad idea. On more than one occasion have I headed out for a ride that starts out well-sheltered in the forests, and when I loop back onto open roads I find myself battling a killer headwind. Maybe a quick glance at Segment Ninja before the ride will remind me to head out in the other direction, and maybe I’ll even pick up a personal best along the ride.
And for our friends in lands of the perpetual headwind, like The Netherlands, Segment Ninja might really be able to shape your KOM sniping strategy! All segments available east of Rotterdam on the left. All that would benefit from a 5km/hr tailwind boost after work tomorrow.
If you want to give it a try, all you have to do is head over to their website and authorize them access to your Strava account. Then browse around for segments and the planned ride time, then select the “Wind assisted” checkbox to see which segment attempts will benefit from the anticipated wind conditions. Use it and enjoy. If it doesn’t suit you, you can always go to your Strava settings to revoke authorization.