Crazy Cyclists Battle 62MPH Winds In Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships

Each year, cyclists who have something to prove — to themselves or others — gather to take part in the Dutch Headwind Cycling Championship. It may be the most insane challenge in the history of cycling, and most people agree that you have to be a bit crazy to participate. The championships take place on the Oosterscheldekering storm barrier, which faces the North Sea. The course is a grueling 5-mile ride against the wind on upright single-speed bicycles, which are provided by the organization. A total of 200 individual cyclists can participate, plus 25 teams of 4 cyclists. Participants start 30 seconds apart from each other, and the one with the fastest time wins. Most competitors agree that it’s a truly awful ride, one that completely exhausts the cyclists. “You can hardly breathe, and there’s so much sand blowing into your mouth,” said one of the riders after crossing the finish line last year. The wind has no mercy, and because there’s no water to the left or right of the road, the wind is completely unhindered. The fastest rider takes about 25 minutes to run the course. If you think  you would enjoy riding against unfettered 62mph winds going uphill on a bicycle, this may be the competition for you.