How are cyclists able to cycle so many hours per day without hitting the wall?



limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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pat5319 said:
The guys/pros that ride many hours are very well conditioned superior athletes that ride at a level that most who comment here can't imagine much less experience. One must have long thighs, big lungs,lots of muscle fibers of the right type, high pain tolerance and be willing to ride huge miles for years. Anyone here ride 10,000(not enough) to 20,000 miles per year and "cruise" at 25 mph or more? Pros have to eat and drink a lot of calories(thousands) and fluids (quarts/gallons)ON the bike to be able to compete. No fair comparing a race/level with another unles you've experienced both!!!!!!!!

Good post.

The professionals at the very highest level eat/drink/sleep the sport.
My own view is that physiologically they have things which us mere mortals do not have.
However no matter how physiologically gifted they may be, they still have to work exceptionally hard at their sport in order to succeed.
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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The difference between a part time activity and a job. That's why they are called pros. I also helps to be genetically gifted.
 

doctorSpoc

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Nov 18, 2005
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why do people on here keep posting about how great a shape pro cyclist are in? no one here, that i have seen is saying that professional cyclist aren't it great shape and aren't freakish physical specimens.. of course they are.. but so are elite long distance runners at the top level.. so we can safely take training and the athlete's physical attributes out of the equation since it's a given for both groups (runners and cyclists).

the question is kind a false one because the premise is false.. runners CAN and do run for those lengths of time. they just need to do the same things that cyclist do.. i.e. ride/run at a slower average pace than they would for shorter distances and eat and drink during the exercise.

what some of you are confusing is that the nature of mass start road racing is that the pace is generally all over the place.. road racing is and has to be very tactical to overcome drafting a phenomena that doesn't exist in running because of the much lower speed... and there is the fact that you can coast while going downhill etc... this goes for joe blow in a local racer or for pros. but these things don't exist in running.. running is more comparable to a time trial where you are going at a fairly constant pace the whole way and are trying to dole your effort out for the duration of the race.. you don't generally see 6hr Timetrials. look at the last Olympic road race.. the 1st two laps were ridden at ~25km/hr.. sure once the race starts, it REALLY starts and is ridden at a lung busting speed that no mere mortal could hope to keep up with, but one hour of that 5-6hr is as at a really low, have a conversation, laugh it up pace... the result is that the ave power for the whole race is lower.

drafting also means that even though the pace might be high they still might not be putting out that much power (at least relatively for them). once you get on a hill, cross wind or a team decides the take the pace up to 60-70km on a flat then drafting isn't going to save you any more, but those conditions don't exist for the whole race.

road racing is not usually not hard because of the ave power for the whole thing but because of the ave power during certain portions of the race that the riders use to break the legs off their competition. so it is very possible that some on this board have done rides with ave power higher than pros in a pro race, but that doesn't mean those same people would survive that pro race, because they would never survive the lung busting, leg breaking periods... road racing is very tactical. and those same pros on a similar ride to the guys on this board would likely ave a much higher power in that type of ride as well.

no one is saying that a pro race is easier than a sunday ride, it's definitely harder, but ave power for the whole thing is not the key metric here to look at to see how hard the ride was... it definitely is in a TT but not necessarily so in a road race.
 

vspa

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Jan 11, 2009
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because man invented the wheel ! could be a shorter answer.

to qoute someone in this thread " its not fair to compare race pace to touring pace if you have not experienced both ". A road race is hard all the way through,

cycling is just a better transport means than bare legs
 

pat5319

New Member
Jan 9, 2002
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better leverage for pedaling! on the flip side faster runners have short thighs ( in relaiton to the tibia/shin length
bubsy said:
Why does one need long thighs?
 

bubsy

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Sep 5, 2004
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pat5319 said:
better leverage for pedaling! on the flip side faster runners have short thighs ( in relaiton to the tibia/shin length

So without long thighs one cannot ride at at the pro/elite level?
Looks like l'm screwed then!
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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bubsy said:
So without long thighs one cannot ride at at the pro/elite level?
Looks like l'm screwed then!

Yes, your thigh bones need to be long. If they are not long enough to reach from your hip joint to your knee it causes diminished power transfer.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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The only necessary requirement of a femur for cycling at the top level is that the femur should not hinge in the center.
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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alienator said:
The only necessary requirement of a femur for cycling at the top level is that the femur should not hinge in the center.

Are you sure? If I had double hinged femurs I think I could turn twice the rpms.