Every year I try to catch a little cycling on TV during the Tour de France.

There’s about a week left of this year’s tour and I must say that I’m very impressed by how well these top athletes perform. The race is around 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and lasts for 23 days. Out of those 23, three are used to rest, meaning that they are racing in 20 days. That’s an average of 175 kilometers (110 miles) every day. On all the stages I’ve seen so far, the average speed has never been below 40 kmh (25 mph).

Let’s put this into perspective. I took my bike to Nordstrand today for a surprise visit to Ola and Hege. The thing with surprise visits is that both the visitor and the “visitees” might end up surprised. Today it was me, the visitor, since they weren’t at home. I probably should have called first, but that sort of ruins the whole surprise thing.


The distance from my apartment to their place is 9.5 kilometers (5.9 miles). I covered that distance in 22 minutes, which means my average speed was roughly 25 kmh (16 mph). That’s above half of the average speed of the Tour de France riders. The hill up to Nordstrand is rather steep, though, so I could probably have used that as an excuse, but not when my maximum speed down the same hill was… 82.1 kmh!? WTF!?

There is obviously something wrong with the Polar clock that I’m using for measuring speed and distance. It says that the distance home was 7.7 kilometers, despite the fact that I took the same route both ways. It might be because I had my cellphone with me, and it can interfere with the signals sent from the sensor on the front wheel of my bike whenever it switches base stations. So I’m guessing I can safely disregard to information the clock has saved. Bummer.

My point, at least, is that the maximum speed I saw on the speedometer when going down the hill was 45 kmh (28 mph) - the average speed on some of the Tour de France stages. My free fall speed is the same as their average speed. Are you impressed yet?

I blame my lousy results on the lack of EPO. Come to think of it, I think I wrote an entry just like this one a couple of years ago.

Everything changes, yet everything stays the same.