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.


Lampo Pre-TdF preparations

Lampo Bianco has hit upon a radical but extremely effective method to get down to racing weight. With the Tour de France looming, Lampo found himself a few tens of kilos over his preferred racing weight. Somehow, he picked up a particularly virulent 31.4 hour virus. Whether it was from a toilet seat or air borne, experts are baffled by the puzzle of its origin. The virus's effectiveness cannot be denied. In the space of 24 hours, Lampo Bianco purged all excess liquids, dropping his weight precipitously and giving a workout to the sewage system of his local municipality. Bravo and chapeau LB! You are an inspiration to us all.


The Pros and Cons of Weight Loss

The struggle against weight loss is universal to cyclists the world over. In order to ride efficiently and effectively, one should have minimal body fat and maintain a diminutive stature, preferably less than 1.57 meters. Speaking from experience as a formidable bike rider at 1.95 meters, weight definitely has advantages. Plunging down any hillock, tolt, hilligen, sinuous mountain track, coulee, downward facing switchback, or sloping driveway allows gravity to work its magic on the bigger rider. Often I find myself reaching subsonic speeds causing facial disfigurement.
Going downhill with extra weight means passing smaller cyclists with ease and getting a gap effortlessly. It means testing your equipment at its most extreme limits and testing your nerve on that acute edge of control. Weight loss takes away the advantage of gravity and that loss should be a consideration when denying oneself that extra gallon of ice cream or six pack of high alcohol beer in the name of svelteness. Being lighter can mean that a person can climb the same vertical geographic features with aplomb, alacrity and acuity. It can also mean the difference between coughing up a lung/passing out or briskly pedaling away from the competition at the top. A cyclist must ask her or himself how much of a white knuckle thrill of the downhill hurtle can be sacrificed for a more manageable sortie up a mountain pass. Based on Barry Hamlin's calculations (which have been verified by Johan), for every kilo shed by a cyclist, he/she gives up 10 kmph on the downhill. For that same kilogram the cyclist only gains 9 kmph going up the same hill. This debate is likely to rage for the next 15 minutes.


You know it's windy when...

You know it is windy when: 1. Pedaling required down a 6% grade just to maintain forward momentum. 2. Skin tight spandex flaps in the wind. 3. Being passed by a loser on a recumbent. 4. Strange white crustiness develops around the mouth. 5. Sun burn superseded by wind burn on face. 6. Ambient temperature is plus 20 but feels like plus 5 degrees C. 7. You plead with the devil to instantly become 1 foot shorter and 100 lbs lighter. 8. You ride in echelon formation (shown below)


Throwing down the gauntlet

Yesterday, Johan threw down a gauntlet and demanded that Team Vitesse riders get off the couch and train since the Giro starts on Saturday. Immediately excuses began to fly. Dr. K2 pleaded that he had to learn his children's names again and could not go. Lampo Bianco assured Johan that he has been training regularly but there is no way to confirm that. h2o suited up after his green eggs and ham dinner, pumped up the tyres and grabbed some gloves because it seemed cold and threatening. Realizing that the climatic conditions compromised his hand warmth, h2o attempted to put on his gloves. The 2 right handed black neoprene gloves did the trick and kept his hands warm. Unfortunately he could not bend his left hand against the neoprene form fit. h2o claims that the glove discomfort reduced his average speed by at least 5 kmph.