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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-19-14, 01:28 PM   #1
MikeRides
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Headwinds or Hills, Which Would You Choose?

I just got back from a tough 5 mile out and back ride on the bike path. The winds were gusting up to 35 MPH, and all I was could think about how this ride was supposed to be an easy weekend ride (flat) and that it seemed harder than pedaling up and down the 15% grades I have near my house.

So if you had a choice, which would you choose: 30 MPH head/cross winds or constant 12-15% grade hills?
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Old 04-19-14, 01:31 PM   #2
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Big riders do good in heavy winds.

With hills you are pulling all your weight UP.
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Old 04-19-14, 03:40 PM   #3
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I did both yesterday. I did a 50KM ride, nearly entirely into the wind, with nearly non-stop hills, except for a 10KM flat section. My average speed went from 26km/h to 18km/h.

I hated and loved every minute of that ride.
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Old 04-19-14, 03:54 PM   #4
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I prefer hills as they represent a challenge with an end. Wind is just soul crushing.
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Old 04-19-14, 04:02 PM   #5
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This time of year I'll take the hills all day long. When it is 30C out in the middle of the summer I love a strong wind.
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Old 04-19-14, 05:47 PM   #6
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My preference is long steep ascents, as the rewards afterward are awesome fast descents.
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Old 04-19-14, 06:34 PM   #7
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Give me both because down the line I will enjoy a tailwind and a steep descent, the yin and yang of ...
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Old 04-19-14, 06:46 PM   #8
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Headwinds or hills, which would you choose?
Can't remember where I read this, mainly because it's been a few years, but I remember seeing a quote that said "hills may build muscle/strength, but headwinds develop character." Since I absolutely detest hills, I think I'll choose the headwinds.

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Old 04-19-14, 07:02 PM   #9
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Yea, hills are fun because what goes up, must come down. But the wind just does not stop. Last week we went 385 miles, including a 150 mile ride into solid headwinds. It really takes the fun out of it.
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Old 04-19-14, 09:25 PM   #10
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I much prefer hills, as bbeasley put it, there is a defined end to them and they normally dont decide to turn around on you at the most inopportune time
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Old 04-19-14, 09:28 PM   #11
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I prefer hills as they represent a challenge with an end. Wind is just soul crushing.
Agree 100%
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Old 04-19-14, 10:54 PM   #12
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I choose both. I need the hill work. Strong winds out of the south means warm temps.

I will encounter both on my annual tour so I just ride. Before I started riding today my neighbor mentioned the wind, my response is my ride home will be easier.
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Old 04-20-14, 03:32 AM   #13
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Who says it's either or? I did a hilly 18 mi trip today seemingly with headwinds the entire time. How is that even possible?
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Old 04-20-14, 03:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
Can't remember where I read this, mainly because it's been a few years, but I remember seeing a quote that said "hills may build muscle/strength, but headwinds develop character." Since I absolutely detest hills, I think I'll choose the headwinds.

thats a good quote! think i heard it before too but not sure where. another one is 'always plan your trip with the tailwind on the way home!' didn't work too well for me though recently cos i was too exhausted after the head wind to make it home!

and don't even mention the winds that laugh at you by changing direction just as you do - so double headwind action!
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Old 04-20-14, 06:42 AM   #15
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I hate the wind! It seems like when I set out to ride and notice the trees blowing around that I know there's going to be a headwind to deal with during a portion of the trip but why does it always have to be the whole way BACK???
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Old 04-20-14, 06:44 AM   #16
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Hills. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I crest a hill. No so much in the wind. Also there aren't much in the way of 'cross-hills' knocking you sideways - at least on the roads.
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Old 04-20-14, 06:52 AM   #17
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Why is it only once the wind shifted so I had a tail wind both ways, and at least 5 times shifted so I had a head wind both ways.
More common since I am a morning rider, is the wind comes up for the ride back.

I just gear down and spin away. It is all good.

Rod
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Old 04-20-14, 07:28 AM   #18
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Give me both because down the line I will enjoy a tailwind and a steep descent, the yin and yang of ...
100% agreed!
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Old 04-20-14, 07:55 AM   #19
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I much prefer hills, as bbeasley put it, there is a defined end to them and they normally dont decide to turn around on you at the most inopportune time
The end means the end of the ride for me. They aren't very long, but it is constant up and down for me. The down goes too quick for a rest before I'm trudging back up again.

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Who says it's either or? I did a hilly 18 mi trip today seemingly with headwinds the entire time. How is that even possible?
Now in the spring, when I ride the bike trail, I swear I'm in a headwind both ways.

I'll definitely say hills as I don't have a choice on the road. With wind, I found I don't get a break. I'm working my butt off climbing the hill, then working my butt off going down the hill because of the wind practicaly holding me to the same speed as the uphills.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:45 AM   #20
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Where I live we have nearly constant wind in the spring that starts blowing most days after 9 am and increases to 15-25 with higher gusts in the late afternoon and evening. I'd prefer hills because they at some point end, if I had a choice. However I must have chosen wind though because I still live here.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:07 AM   #21
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I live in S. FL and wind is all we get. Although flat as a pancake - a 30 mph headwind will test the soul. I weight 250 and ride a FG, the hills are harder for me.
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Old 04-21-14, 07:20 AM   #22
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Hills, they end. I've called in the SAG vehicle on windy rides when I was too far from home.
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Old 04-21-14, 07:32 AM   #23
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The hardest days ever that I have had on a bike have been dealing with a headwind all day as you never get any relief.
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Old 04-21-14, 07:33 AM   #24
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I much prefer hills over wind.
That being said I am better at riding in the wind. (I live in Oklahoma)
It's the only time this clide ever passes anybody.
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Old 04-21-14, 07:53 AM   #25
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I prefer a constant wind at my back to push me along and a hill only goes down!
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