quick cycling math

My younger brother got me into cycling sort of.  He was the first to get a road bike, after a nasty road rash incident on his friend’s bike one summer.  I’m not sure why he got the urge to purchase his own but he did.  Then he started watching the tour de france.  Then I started riding again, mountain bike first, then my wife bought me a hybrid, then we debated between a Harley and a road bicycle.  It was decided I would have a lower risk of death on a road bike so that’s the direction we went.  Never mind the incredible cost difference, better health, etc.  My brother sold his bike (he lives in the Richmond, VA area so it’s not like we got to ride together anyway), and moved where he doesn’t have cable so I basically took up cycling and following the tour de france since he couldn’t anymore.  However, I started getting more into it, going for long rides on scheduled vacation days (instead of golfing which is what I used to do, the advantage being when I turn the handlebars I know where my bike is going, I can’t say the same for my golfball).  I also started following professional cycling, not only for the tour de france but all year around through the cyclocross season, the classics, the three tours and domestic races (I visit Pave and VeloNation on a daily basis, not during work hours of course).  I admit, it could be a problem.  Of course, my wife likes to do impressions of Phil Liggett now so I guess it can’t all be bad.

Anyway, I’m now watching the US Pro Cycling challenge which is based in Colorado and they just flashed Levi Leipheimer’s statistics on the screen.  He’s 37 (one year younger than me), 5’7″, six inches shorter, 136 pounds.  Are you kidding?  No wonder I feel like I’m dragging a ton of bricks up climbs while I watch him fly up a mountain, and he’s not even one of the better climbers (look, he’s good, he’s really, really good, I couldn’t hold his wheel unless he handed it to me as his mechanic after a flat).  The guy is 66 pounds lighter.  Go ahead, do the math, I’ll wait.  Okay, got it?  Did you get 192 pounds?  Yes?  Well then go back to school or get out your calculator.  That’s 202 pounds (weighed after my ride today of course) which seems at least a bit normal.  Of course, when I do my health assessment for work it tells me I’m overweight.  I find that funny since I do everything I can to stay in shape.  Anyway, every time I climb a hill I think about how fast I could climb it if I weighed 136 pounds.  Of course, that would mean that I was 12 years old, or whatever age I was when I actually weighted that much.  Crazy.  At least I know I’m probably burning more calories with my ride than Levi when I ride.  Plus, my arms are bigger and oddly enough, I have more hair.  Go figure.


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