So this is more a theoretical question at this point but I thought I would put it out for further discussion.
When riding south of the city with a group, it is typically a fairly consistent downhill on the way out and a fairly consistent uphill on the way back. Normally we would ride with the wind.
However, there has been a few rides recently going that way where the hills on the way back seem to be the deciding factor rather than the wind direction. Strong climbers are fine but the weaker climbers drop off the back and the group is stretched (or it breaks up).
So I thought of another option, do a different route where we road uphill on the way out (hopefully with a tailwind) when everyone is fresh then downhill into a headwind on the way back. Strong riders would do more pulls and take the brunt of the wind. Those that are tired could then take short pulls or miss them altogether. This should keep the group together better. It would only work when the group was bigger (doing this would hurt with a small group!).
What are peoples thought on this alternative approach?