During a recent trip to the allergist to staunch the flow of tree-related phlegm in my nose and tears in my eyes I mentioned my cold-weather related asthma to the doctor. While I don’t usually have breathing problems, on rides under about 60 degrees I’ve had some issues and my GP prescribed me an inhaler a few years ago.
To check and make sure I had no lung impairment he had me do a quick lung function test. After breathing really hard into a paddle I waited as the computer spit out my numbers. The doctor stopped and looked at them hard. “This is good,” he said “really good. Look at this.”
He pointed at a few numbers that represented my lung capacity. All were above 120%, with a bunch of them above 160%.
“An olympic athlete is usually around 120%,” he said “go put this on your fridge.”
Well that explains why I’ve always been able to go from lack-of-exercise to solid performance incredibly quickly and why I don’t collapse on the side of the road in my early season for lack of breath. But it also makes me feel like maybe I’ve squandered a bit of a gift. I’ve never liked to race (I’m what I call “passive competitive”) but shit, if I’ve got a huge set of pipes maybe I should use them.
What do you think? Maybe it’s time to start gearing up for cross season.
In any case, I’m going to take a quick test to one of the places that does VO2 and resting metabolic testing to see what else is lurking under this big ol’ pile of David.
I designed my new Davidson titanium bicycle to be a travel bike with multiple personalities, and the Paragon Machines Works dropouts are a key point of the design. With track-style rearward facing frame ends, the MkV can easily be kitted as a fixed gear or even fully velodrome-legal track bike. But by having 130mm dropout spacing and derailleur hanger, the bike is ready to be a regular road bike. Like many designs, there are of course compromises. As a track bike, 130mm spacing is a little annoying when all regular track wheels are 120mm; luckily the springy nature of the MkV’s titanium construction means that I can tighten the rear triangle down unto a 120mm wheel without coldsetting the frame. As a road bike, the rearward facing dropouts make an ordeal out of swapping the rear wheel in and out. Greasy fingers from manually maneuvering the chain. However, a large number of time trial framesets share this problem as they use similar dropouts with derailleurs so that the tire can be positioned close to the seat tube.