In a couple of days I’ll be looking at the results from the UCI (road) World Championship. I’ll look at the time trial results and comment on the amazing speed of guys like Fabian Cancellara.
As fast as they are, I can still understand and fathom their performance being within the realm of possibility. It’s way over my capability, but not *that far*.
I mean, let’s say I won some contest and they let me do the time trial. I would be dead last, but I don’t think my time would be so embarrassingly bad that someone would think I got off the bike and walked.
In contrast, I read about Galen Rupp setting the American 10k (running) record, with a time of 26:48. He ran the last 1600m (about a mile) in 4:11.
I do a little running in the off-season, and am “respectably” fast for someone who’s a. old, b. not a full-time runner. But I simply cannot fathom running that fast for 10k. It just doesn’t seem to be humanly possible. I can’t imagine what it takes to run sub-5:00 for even one mile.
The curious thing about this is that I do just enough running to be completely awed by this performance, while on the other hand look at Cancellara and am certainly impressed but not completely awed. Perspective changes everything.
As a side-note, I was talking with someone from Denmark this week. He knew I was a cyclist, and we were talking about how he’s seen so few people on bikes in the U.S. versus Denmark.
Yet … he was completely unaware that the World Championships would be starting in Copenhagen in just a couple of days. Shocking!
Or perhaps not. When we see cyclists in the U.S., they are mostly lycra-clad enthusiasts. Whereas in Denmark, it’s like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXw_t172BKY