The leaked data from Froome’s ascent of the Ventoux also shows a markedly low maximum heart rate, which never rises above 161 beats per minute even when launching the vicious attacks that saw off both Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana approaching the summit.
Wow! Now that's impressive. A typical Fred will easily exceed that heart rate while using the toilet, or reading about the aero benefits of the new Specialized Venge-Schmenge. (Doing both simultaneously is enough to send the typical Fred into cardiac arrest.)
Froome, however, is no typical Fred. In actuality, he is either a superhuman Über-Fred by birth, or else he is a Fred who has been doped to the gills:
“I’ve even put that part of the data out there in my book: my maximum heart rate is only around 170 so after two weeks of a grand tour, I’m quite surprised it went to 160 if that’s what they’re saying,” Froome said. “That’s normal, once I get two weeks into a Grand Tour: 10 beats off my maximum when I’m going as hard as I can. That’s pretty normal – for me, anyway.”
Either way, I believe that's what the millennials call a "humblebrag."
Meanwhile, Marc Madiot is very upset about the fancy-schmancy motorhome that Sky used at the Giro:
It’s a question of equity. Not all the teams are rich enough to buy more and more vehicles. Bretagne-Séché Environnement at the Tour de France, Bardiani-CSF at the Giro d’Italia or Caja Rural at the Vuelta a España, their budget is about one tenth of the biggest teams’. The charm of our sport is that they still have a chance to win a stage or something. Everyone has the right to dream. If we keep increasing the gap between the rich and the poor, we’ll lose one recipe for our success. I don’t see any new sponsor coming in cycling and putting millions to create a new team. Some of the existing teams are economically in danger. Five years ago, we were twenty-five teams competing for a World Tour license, this year the eighteen spots aren’t filled. By raising the bar too high, cycling might struggle to attract sponsors even more than now.
Hey, he makes a good point. Even US Postal had to do its transfusions in the team bus--and speaking of US Postal, this guy is still trying to make all this about him:
Yeah, no they're not. He really needs to leave the sport alone, let the current crop of freaks defend themselves, and get himself on a reality show already. It's the only decent thing left for him to do.
Unfortunately, between the doping accusations and Ivan Basso's testicular cancer, he keeps finding opportunities to Ned Ryerson his way back into the conversation.
Somewhere underneath all of this there's also a bike race going on, but I have yet to find it.
Speaking of Freds, they keep coming up with new ways to be complete and utter weenies, which is why they're now wearing leg warmers with integrated "deoxygenated blood sensors," whatever the hell that means:
Until now, a lactate threshold test in a lab with a blood draw was the only way to accurately measure a rider’s lactate threshold. BSX Insight is a new device designed to guide you through the process and give you a test that measures your levels of deoxygenated blood. It then compares those levels to known trends in the relationship between deoxygenated blood levels and the production of lactate. The test can even be done at home with a trainer, a powerful fan, power meter, and the new $370 BSX Insight — Cycling Edition.
The Insight tethers to your ANT+ devices, such as a power meter and a heart rate monitor, and then feeds that information to your phone, along with data on blood lactate levels. This is where things get interesting: the BSX Insight device measures the levels of deoxygenated blood using an LED light that looks through your skin on the back of your calf and into your blood stream. The BSX software — its secret sauce — then takes those oxygenation levels and converts them to a lactate threshold number. No more finger pricks every few minutes.
Oh my god.
If you are even contemplating using something like this and you are not a highly-paid professional athlete, you need to do one of two things immediately:
1) Get a freaking life;
2) Get a freaking medical degree.
At least if you do #2 you can channel your freakish obsessions into a meaningful career instead of commingling them at your own expense with your stupid hobby that helps nobody.
Yes, we've finally entered into the long-awaited Age of Total Fred Automation, in which every single aspect of Lycra-clad bicycle riding is governed by some sort of electronic command, alert, or notification. Gone off course? "BEEP!" goes the Garmin. Some other Fred stole your KOM? "Get it back!" goads the Strava. About to drive into a garage with your bike on the roof rack, because your coach tells you to avoid "junk miles" so you drive your bike everywhere? "BUZZZ!" goes this thing:
Unfortunately it's not going to help, because we're all so inured to electronic notifications at this point that they completely fail to register, and unless the sensor also shuts off your engine I guarantee your going to drive right into the garage anyway.
And I should stress that this good, because few things are more entertaining than Fredly roof rack mishaps:
(I wouldn't want to live in a world where this didn't happen.)
Don't worry, it's okay to laugh. Nobody got hurt, and it didn't happen to you.
By the way, I was intrigued to see that the Distracted Fred Roof Rack Alert System demonstration takes place in front of "Brentwood Car and Dog Wash:"
I had no idea combination car-and-dog washes were even a thing, but apparently they are:
So this means a typical Fred or Frederica's "to do" list now includes the following:
--Perform blood deoxygenation test
--Power wash the car
--Power wash the dog
That's a lot to keep straight. No wonder we can't remember anything. Looks like it may be time for the canine version of that roof rack alert system:
In the meantime, I'm going back to get the rest of the carcass off the road.
Amid all this, I find myself yearning to live in a simpler society. You know, one where we're not governed by our smartphones and the Internet--or perhaps one where we're not even allowed to access the Internet at all. To that end, I've been looking longingly towards North Korea, where Pyongyang is rapidly transforming itself into the "totalitarian Copenhagen:"
Scoff if you will, but it's still more bike-friendly than Australia:
Bicycles are an expensive but increasingly popular mode of transport for many in the country where private car ownership, although on the rise, is still rare.
They are often used by women to transport goods to semi-tolerated markets, where one of the most common services is bicycle repair.
"Semi-tolerated" markets? A pressing need for bicycle repair services? I smell a business opportunity!
I mean not one where the government will let you keep any of the money you earn, but still.
Alas, even in North Korea, people are embarrassed to admit that they ride bikes:
Cockerell said the number of cyclists in Pyongyang appears to have increased by roughly 50% in recent years, although many residents remain unconvinced.
“They are not the most common form of transport for the average Pyongyanger, and many people I have spoken to have scoffed at the idea that they would ride a bike,” said Cockerell.
This is a sobering reminder of where cyclists lie on the transportation hierarchy. You know you're low when even the North Koreans are scoffing at you. What forms of transportation are even available to them in the first place? "Ride a bike? Ha!," scoffed the average Pyongyanger, as he rode indignantly away on a dog.
Lastly, back in the Land of the Free (or at least the Land of the Fees), check out this dramatic bike theft sting operation:
I really hope this is the backdrop for the next season of "True Detective."