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48

The simplest answer to your question is that 1) speeds have increased; but 2) speeds would have increased even more except Tour organizers have been consciously making the Tour harder in order to increase the drama, suspense, and entertainment value of the race. That makes comparisons of overall winner's speed quite complex when combined with normal ...


35

There are a few "pseudo-facts" I think might be at play in this graphic: You mentioned 10% of increase, say from 35km/h to 40km/h average speed. That is a VERY significant increase. Anyone well trained can sustain 35km/h average for some time even in a mountain bike, but FORTY km/h is MUCH HARDER to sustain, and that's because aerodynamic drag is ...


20

There is an interesting Q&A on independent.co.uk (though it dates from 1995) talking about bananas and tennis... Q. Witnessing players at Wimbledon chomping their way through pounds of bananas between games prompts the question: who began this sporting food fad and are there sound nutritional reasons for the players' preference for ...


17

The Tour de France is primarily an endurance event, where team strategy is more important than outright speed. In addition there are UCI rules for racing bicycles. This includes a 6.8kg weight restriction that has been in place since 2000. If you want to compare outright speeds it would be more interesting to look at how the average speed of the time ...


16

I am not a bike expert, but a computer programmer. The problem with this question is that there is no control to compare it to. Each year the TDF changes. They visit different parts of Europe, yes it is not 100% in France. This means you can't compare times between years. Weather (not climate) is a concern. The temperature, wind and humidity will impact ...


12

The EXPERIENCED CYCLIST, who is not, eg, out of shape after a long winter does not need any food for 50 road miles. This is because his muscles and liver have "learned" to store extra sugar/carbs to provide energy over a long period of time. But a beginning cyclist who is not, say, already a distance runner or otherwise used to exercising vigorously for ...


12

Advice in book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald goes something like this, paraphrased: Yes, training without carbohydrates will train your body to use stored fat better. But your capacity to train will go down (not enough fuel!), and net result will be less improvement. It references this study, which compares two groups of athletes on hi-carb and low-carb ...


11

A few years ago I ran across a recipe that Team Garmin uses (or did at the time). It's boiled potatoes with a bit of olive oil and salt. If you wrap it up right it's easy to carry, unwrap and eat while riding. I'm not sure how many of these you could carry. I've tried it on medium rides (40 to 50 miles) and they were great. I can't find the text of the ...


10

This link "Quick note: Eating is the key to long distance biking" says, If you don't eat, you have an hour, maybe two, of energy stored up. Fortunately it's prescriptive too, saying, And what should these calories be? Well, something easy on your stomach and fairly light. There are special sporting-related products that are generally right ...


9

Entirely depends on the lenght of ride. If you're riding for less than 2 hours then your body already has everything on board that it needs. If you're working for more than 2 hours you should eat complex carbs (pasta, oatmeal) 2 hours before the ride so that they have time to digest before you actually need them. Also eating too much just before can limit ...


9

Informally, I find that on long rides, your body will simply know what it needs. You pull off at a stop; the trail mix and pickles look delicious, so you eat them. More scientifically though, your body can process about two servings (e.g., bottles of gatorade, gel packs, etc.) of carbohydrate per hour. Any more than this, and you can experience ...


9

What really struck me though was that the average speeds really haven't changed much The chart ranges from about 25km/h to over 40km/h, and that is a big change. As others have mentioned, increasing your average speed requires a non-linear increase in power applied to the pedals. In other words, to increase average speed from 25km/h to 26km/h is easier ...


8

Real food like bananas are better than processed food any day. Don't ditch old school foods. Remember when they said that magarine was better for you than butter? 30 years later, the find out trans-fats are bad. The banana stands the test of time. Gel packs and bars won't. Keep at it brother!


8

Really, any source of food is fine for a 25–50 mile ride. Although for anything of longer distance, you're going to want to add significant quantities of carbohydrates. Nuts are great, but they're primarily fat and protein. Toss some M&Ms and raisins into that mix for an improvement, and make sure there's some salt in them. But really, 25–50 miles ...


7

I think that is question can at least be partially answered by whether or not you can tolerate food in your stomach. While having a big heavy meal would probably be bad, having something in there, plus doing some refueling along the ride will help you keep from bonking and also make sure you are not running on a deficit for the rest of your day. I find ...


7

Last year I plotted average speed versus race distance and there's an incredibly accurate inverse relationship. http:///www.32sixteen.com/2011/07/25/correlation-does-not-equal-causality/ But to add to my chart and flesh out the reason I think it hasn't increased so greatly. The Tour is a stage race. The average speed we have presented is the average ...


7

I think the times you're posting for the distances you're riding, especially on a touring bike are pretty reasonable. Professional athletes, or racers, will ride quicker, but for an amateur aiming for a century your times are fine. On a longer ride, you need more time for rest stops and food and nature breaks. A road bike will make you a little quicker, ...


7

Unfortunately, I don't feel able to talk about food QUALITY, since even "vegan" can mean a lot of things these days, and this understanding varies from person to person. Just to illustrate, I'm not sure to suggest cheese, honey, milk and eggs, although I do find these to be excellent heavy-fuels for cycling. Now what I do feel sure to advise, being an ...


6

Personally for me, the key ingredient (after raw calories) is salt. I find on my Ironman distance races that I go hyponatremic pretty early. I just get salt packets from a restaurant and eat a packet (5 grams) every hour or so. When I realize I am low on salt (usually feel like I am falling asleep while biking hard or running) I eat some salt, and as ...


6

50km isn't that enormous of a distance - and especially for someone who does 18km twice a day. It sounds like your current pace would have you completing that in about three hours. I'd bring a snack or two if you're worried about being peckish, but unless you're going all-out for a personal record or you skip breakfast you should have no issues. Just keep ...


6

Chris's answer is good if you are planning for some serious training/ride. IMHO, if you ride just a few Kms there's not even need for a particular diet, as long as it's mixed and well balanced. I stick to such a regular diet for rides of 50 Km or less, otherwise some tuning (as described by Chris) is needed.


6

It is extremely important that you eat and drink properly when cycling in extremes of temperature. In Dubai, where riding in the summer means riding regularly in 50c temperatures, this is a major problem. Eating is less of a concern than hydration, but you want to avoid dehydrators, like alcohol, in your food. You also want to watch what spices and ...


6

I too am a type one diabetic and I understand your concerns, how ever I might have some suggestions to help with your problem. I always make sure to carry a Camelbak pack with me to enure I have my Glucometer and other supplies along. I check my sugars before I start the ride, if possible I might have a little extra food at the time, just to get me started. ...


5

Eating shouldn't be an either/or activity, but you're right to question the items and the timings. You should be looking for something slow release before - so the fats in a muffin combined with the slow release carbs in the dough are cunning (my favourite is a jam sandwich - fast release fructose from the jam, inhibited a little by the fat in the butter, ...


5

This question makes a category mistake, I reckon. In that the Tour de France is not a competition done to finish an enormous amounts of kilometers as fast as possible -- as would be the case with a marathon for runners; where they athletes do indeed go faster and faster. The only aim the winner of the Tour has, is to be faster than the number two in the GC. ...


5

14 MPH is a fairly good pace for that ride -- I wish I could do that well anymore. Take along some snacks -- sports bars, fruit bars, plain old candy, nuts -- whatever you'll find appealing. Have a break about once an hour with a snack and extra water. And keep practicing -- the body builds up endurance fairly slowly. Seven hours in the saddle isn't that ...


5

Just keep at it. The human body is very adaptable and you'll soon get fitter. Don't worry too much about food and nutrition at the moment, that only matters when you're cycling at a competitive level, you just need to make sure you've had breakfast before you ride in the morning. Regardless of cycling/weight loss you should try and eat a healthy balanced ...



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