The DigitalJer Challenge
Feedback is encouraged at cycling cosmonaut. It seems that one devoted reader wishes to challenge the expertise and intellect of Mr. Barry Hamlin. DigitalJer proposes: Terminal velocity can be solved for in the cycling equation above by setting power at 0. If one assumes the rolling resistance term is also 0, and that there is no wind blowing (v = s), then the equation becomes: kaAs3 = -giMs or s = (-giM/kaA)1/2 Thus, the terminal velocity is roughly proportional to the square root of the ratio of M/A. Scaling reveals that larger cyclists have a greater ratio of mass to frontal area. They therefore descend hills faster as a consequence of purely physical, not physiological, laws. Since the larger cyclist has a greater mass, gravity acts on him or her with a greater force than it does on a smaller cyclist. We thank DigitalJer for his audacity by questioning Barry Hamlin's scientific logic. However, Barry Hamlin is known as "Pope Barry of Cycling" and as such is infallible. DigitalJer should now expect the Spanish Inquisition.