I’ve often joked that I don’t care about doping because you could put as much EPO in me as you want and I still won’t be able to ride the Tour for three weeks. It’s not just the warrior mentality of a Tour rider (I’ve skipped a bike ride because there’s a rerun of Space 1999 on, but these guys keep riding when they fall into barbed wire fences) but it’s about capacity.
In an email chat with the folks at Bicycling magazine about an upcoming Tour viewing event they’ve invited us to (more info to come) they suggested I take a look at a piece called You Versus The Peloton. I’d actually just read it in the print issue, but it compares the “average cycling enthusiasts” with HTC-High Road generated numbers. While there are some I could probably match (I can burn 4000-5000 calories during a century, but these guys do it on a 3 hour ride) there are some things that are just ridiculously powerful.
25-28 MPH average (which means a hell-of-a-lot-faster than that to make that the average speed) and power outputs in the neighborhood of 400-450 watts. The only way I’m kicking out that level of power would be to accidentally stick my finger in the outlet when plugging my iPhone.
One that really stood out to me is the amount of sleep these guys get—about 70 hours a week. Perhaps it’s my history following the mountain biking scene (where 70 hours a month was more the norm for those party animals) but I’ve dreamt of a life where I can sleep 70 hours a week and ride my bike the rest of the time.
I guess I’ll have to be content with spending the same amount of money on my bikes as the pro team bikes cost.