These are a few selected items I posted on a cycling forum
San Clemente, CA
A 49 year old Mission Viejo man was
hit broadside by a speeding cold
front this morning while riding his
bike to work. He was chilled instantly.
"He never saw it coming", witnesses
said. His wife of 21 years sobbed,
"He always wore a helmet, but it didn't
keep him from getting chilled." No one
at the weather service could be reached
Oxygen and Training
I'm not a doctor, but I worked in the oxygen industry for 15 years, developing new products for oxygen delivery. I have patents on several oxygen valves and an oxygen powered transport ventilator. These products are used all over the world. I did quite a bit of work on the oxygen valve you see the football players sucking on. It's called a "Demand Valve" in the industry. Anyway, during that time I tested lots of product modifications by simply breathing pure oxygen through the devices.
Oxygen is not dangerous to breathe, and it doesn't change the way you feel. Believe it or not, it's not even flamable! It merely helps other things burn. To demonstrate this, I used to fill my lungs with oxygen, then exhale through a lit cigarette. The end of the cigarette would burn brightly. In case you were wondering, yes, I used to smoke cigarettes while I was testing products with pure oxygen.
You exhale most of the oxygen you breathe in - your body takes what it needs and exhales the rest. If your lungs are normal, breathing 100% oxygen does not change this. As far as Oxygen Bars and the football players sucking down oxygen, can you say "Placebo Effect"?
Your body needs 122 mm Hg partial pressure of oxygen (pO2). At sea level the pO2 of the air is 152. When you go up in altitude, the pO2 drops. At around 10,000 ft the pO2 drops below 122, you need to breathe a little oxygen. That's why General Aviation pilots are required to breathe oxygen when they fly above 10,000 ft.
The altitude tents or "Hypoxia Tents" I have seen come with a device to remove oxygen from the air, to simulate the effects of high altitude. The idea is to train your body to become more efficient on less oxygen, which stimulates your body to make more red blood cells. Same effects as EPO, but legal. The literature shows that athletic training is more effective at sea level, so most people use the tents when they sleep.
Fat People in Cars
They block the bike lane
before they turn right
way before they turn
which is really stupid since
there's no right turn lane
and the cars going straight
can't get around them anyway
but there they are
fat people in cars
hugging the right shoulder
even though they just passed me
they forgot about me already
my bike is pretty narrow
but they are so close to the curb
that sometimes I can't get through.
Sometimes at an intersection
if I'm the first in my lane
and nobody is in the other
the light doesn't change because
fat people in cars
are behind me so far
that they don't trip the light
I motion them to come forward
or point down at the sensor
but they don't get it
they probably think I'm crazy
because well just look at me
I'm wearing tights and a helmet
my bike won't trigger the light
it's not even made of metal.
At every red light
I go right to the front
of the line because I can
and I always leave room in case
anyone wants to turn right
but sometimes a car will have
its right blinker on and stop
because they don't think
they have enough room to fit
around the corner because
fat people in cars
don't know how large
their vehicles really are
so they block the lane for
anyone else who wants to turn.
When I am trying to turn left
at some road or driveway
without a signal or stop sign
there's always someone
in the oncoming traffic lane
who slows down or even stops
to wave me generously across
their lane in front of them
it's kind of bizarre
fat people in cars
think they are doing me a favor
even though they are about to
get rear-ended or even worse
cause someone behind them to
swerve into my lane and hit me.
They pass me and cut me off
with a quick right turn
or pass me but suddenly
realize they can't make it
after they nearly
swiped my handlebars
fat people in cars
can't see me any more
so they hit the brakes
and wait for me to pass
like they should have
in the first place
except now they are liable
to get rear-ended which
might take me out as well.
You know who you are
fat people in cars.
On the first day of climbing during the 2005 Tour de France, the commentators were discussing why the first day in the mountains is so hard. Phil pointed this out, and later, Bob said there is a physiological difference between pedaling the big gears on the flats and climbing. I thought there was something to this, but I couldn't articulate it just then. On flats I use a higher cadence with less pressure on the pedals, and climb at a lower cadence with more pressure on the pedals. Why?
Of course, it's because riding hills is fundamentally different than riding on flats, isn't it?
I personally tested this hypothesis on a two hour ride. To cut down on the number of variables, I tried to hold my heart rate constant while going uphill, downhill, on the flats, into the wind, with the wind, and all combinations. Going fast enough into the wind felt just like climbing to me. I tried lower cadences and higher cadences, and in the end, I cannot say my effort on hills was any different than at any other time. Since my mind rebelled at this result, I started to really think about it. Enter the black box engine.
Replace your body with a black box that can deliver power. Put it on the bike and adjust it to an arbitrary power setting, say your power output at LT. It will put out the same power no matter if going uphill, downhill, into the wind, etc. If you think about it in this way, it is clear there is no difference between riding on the flats or climbing provided you generate constant power.
The problem is that no one rides like this. The bike with the black box engine will go about the same as you uphill, faster than you on the flats, and much faster than you on a descent. The black box bike will ride like a professional racer on a time trial who is keeping a constant effort the whole time.
So what are some reasons we might think there is a difference between riding hill and flats?
The Legend of NonStop
A cyclist known as NonStop
was ticketed once by a cop.
but the rider appealed,
"It's only a YIELD
so why the superfluous STOP?"
The lawyer for NonStop revealed
that his "car" was also two-wheeled.
He admonished the cop,
"You yourself never STOP,"
and in fact view the sign as a YIELD."
Then NonStop stood up and cried,
"Please let the jury decide.
It won't take them long,
for I did nothing wrong,"
he said as they led him outside.
The deliberation was short.
Then the foreman announced to the court,
"I'm a cycling fan.
He's an innocent man.
A STOP shall mean YIELD in our sport."
Now, the verdict made car drivers mad,
and the cyclists, of course, were glad,
but NonStop kept going
with a smile just from knowing
he was riding as he always had.
Inflatable Riding Partner
Everyone knows that it's safer to ride in a group than to ride alone. But it's never convenient to find a riding partner for every ride. Now there's a solution!
Introducing the Inflatable Riding Partner! The Inflatable Riding Partner is never late, never makes stupid comments, never half-wheels you, and will never, ever ride away from you, even on the steepest hills. He will always stay with you, protecting you by increasing your visibility to drivers.
Cars coming too close? Mount the Inflatable Riding Partner on the left side of your bike, between you and the cars. Let him get sideswiped! Make him "Take the Lane" when necessary without putting yourself at risk!
Let the Inflatable Riding Partner "draft" behind you while protecting your rear. If some idiot in a car throws a soda bottle at you, let The Inflatable Riding Partner take one in the back of the head!
Problem with dogs? Mount the Inflatable Riding Partner on the right side of your bike and let him deal with the dog!
Weather turning bad? Put him up front and let the Inflatable Riding Partner "pull" you along while you stay warm and dry in his draft!
Better yet, surround yourself with a full set of 4! You'll have the presence of a peloton while enjoying the security of state-of-the-art air bag protection.
Copyright 2006 Tom Fangrow. All rights reserved.
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