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Monday, July 25, 2005

Spin a little spin for me

Posted by: Hammer / 10:12 AM

Congratulations to Lance Armstrong on winning his 7th Tour de France. His victory reminded me of this tidbit from Fox News:

Bush has been riding the knobby-tired bikes since February, and he rides with abandon.

He takes on dangerous sections that would give veterans pause. He keeps a cramp-inducing pace on long uphill sections, panting hard by the time he reaches each peak, backing off a little to recover and then attacking the next hill. He pants hard, emitting low "hrrr, hrrr, hrrr" grunts with each stroke of the pedals, his shoulders bobbing up and down.

Over an 18-mile ride that lasted an hour and 20 minutes, he burns about 1,200 calories and his heart rate reaches 168 beats per minute. That's about four times his resting rate and in the same range as Lance Armstrong's when the six-time Tour de France winner is pedaling hard.

And that's from Fox News's 2004 election coverage. Ha.

14 Comments:

[Dubya's] heart rate reaches 168 beats per minute. That's... in the same range as Lance Armstrong's when the six-time Tour de France winner is pedaling hard.

Not. Lance's max heart rate is over 200. Plus, max heart rate is NOT a good measure of fitness; I'm a slow old fat guy, and I've measured mine at 201.

By Blogger Joseph, at 10:53 AM  

165 is a good cardio training rate for an athlete in his 20s or 30s. Seems high for a man in his 50s. I don't have any problem getting my heart rate up to 185 or so, but I can't sustain it.

By Blogger Hammer, at 11:01 AM  

1,200 calories???!!! On an 18 mile ride? That's ridiculous. I bike anywhere from 15-30 miles a day and I average about 14-15 mph. The President only averages 13.5 on his trip and according to my bike calorie calculator, this works out to 523 calories. Today, I biked 22 miles in an hour and a half and the calculator said I only burned @650.

I know that calculators vary widely, but even by the most liberal calculation, my ride today tops out at around 1000 calories.

Fox News sucks.

However, I do hope that I am in as good as shape as the President is when I am that age. He is in tip top shape.

cp

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 AM  

15 kCal/minute is very high. This site says less than 800 on average.

By Blogger Hammer, at 11:55 AM  

165 is a good cardio training rate for an athlete in his 20s or 30s

...if you're in the middle of the bell curve. Lots of people aren't.

1,200 calories???!!! On an 18 mile ride? That's ridiculous.

15 kCal/minute is very high.

Says here that 15k isn't all that unusual.

By Blogger Joseph, at 1:03 AM  

I think, by definition, most people are in the middle of a bell curve.

According to the equation on the site you link to, President Bush would burn 905 calories by mountain biking 18 miles in 80 minutes:

mountain bike: 0.0216 * e( 0.144 * speed)
.0216 * e (0.144 * 13.5 mph) = .151 kCal/kg * min
.151 * 75 kg * 80 min = 905 calories

I might be calculating something wrong, because my results don't seem to match his graph.

By Blogger Hammer, at 7:45 AM  

I think, by definition, most people are in the middle of a bell curve.

Well, not exactly. Better to say most are near the middle, and the middle might be quite broad depending on the slope of the bell. The standard deviation for maximum heart rate turns out to be around 10 beats per minute, so nearly a third are outside the 20 bpm range in the middle.

According to the equation...

which was for a flat gravel road. Add some challenging hills, and I'd say 1200 Kcal is hardly out of the question.

By Blogger Joseph, at 8:47 AM  

It's possible, but unlikely. After all, each time you bike up a hill, you can coast down it. I know you burn some calories gripping the brakes, but probably not that many.

Besides, if you burn 900 kCal on a flat course, you'd need to burn an extra 55% on a hilly course to get to 1,200.

I think -- and it's been years since physics -- that 500 kCal would be enough to raise a 75 kg mass approximately 2,800 meters. (500 kCal ~ 2,100 kJ. 1 kJ will raise 75 kg about 4/3 meters.)

After several trips to the Wikipedia I realize that my calculations are more or less right, but I'm missing a final step. The human body is not 100% efficient. This article says cyclists are 21 to 23% efficient. If Bush achieved a 20% muscular efficiency, he'd have to climb about 500 meters to burn the extra 500 kCal. I think.

One more calculation -- that would be about a 3.5% grade over 15 kilometers, roughly 1/2 of the 18 mile ride. That's certainly possible.

By Blogger Hammer, at 9:25 AM  

[I]f you burn 900 kCal on a flat course, you'd need to burn an extra 55% on a hilly course to get to 1,200.

Huh? Wanna run that through the calculator again?

This article says cyclists are 21 to 23% efficient.

Well, it says "this individual" is 21% to 23% efficient. That individual is apparently Lance Armstrong, unless some other cyclist in the last 12 years won a World Championship, had chemo, then won several Tours. One can safely assume the President hasn't quite achieved the same efficiency.

By Blogger Joseph, at 10:06 AM  

Yeah, sure, 1,200 is 500 more than 900, which is 55%. That should be perfectly obvious to anyone :)

Anyway, if you use accurate math, 1,200 kCal is possible, according to some estimates.

By Blogger Hammer, at 11:14 AM  

Re W: I'm reminded of an old Wall Street Journal TV commercial with a guy in a suit standing in an empty gym. "If you think physical fitness will help you get ahead in the world just imagine what mental fitness will do."

Was there ever a person this applied to more than W?

By Blogger Jambo, at 1:03 PM  

The calorie business is an interesting diversion, of course, but is quite apart from the original post, which was about Fox News's Bush bicycle hagiography.

By Blogger Hammer, at 1:07 PM  

A-ha!! My calorie diversion worked!! ;)

It is funny how Fox News gives the President the old fashioned cult of personality workover. They can't just say he's a fit biker...they have to compare him to the best biker in the world. Seriously, this borders on DPRK style treatment. They might as well lead with "our dear leader".

1200 still is a lot for a short 18 mile ride...especially if you are just talking about kilocalories of work performed, or food calories needed to do the job (in a former life I was quite the runner...I had to know these things).

Today before work I performed a little experiment. I went all out, balls-to-the wall on a 25 mile route from Lake Nokomis to Lake Harriet to Calhoun around the Isles, back to the midtown green way, across midtown and the river to st paul and all the way down to the Mendota bridge where I crossed into Eagan. I took all of my old running heart monitors and gear and my bike computer and here is what I came up with:

Avg speed: 14.823 Mph
Total avg force (lbs): 11.79 lbs
Average Power output (horsepower): 0.46/343(watts)

Kilocalories of work performed: 507.96

Food Calories required at 23% metabolic efficiency (which is what I was biking at)

Mililiters of Oxygen required: 446.6

Efficiency of human locomotion: 91%

Liters of air breathed: 11198

Average breathing rate (per minute) 32

Soooooooooooo...I guess the calorie thing could be true if you are talking about food calories required (which has nothing to do with weight loss...it's just a simple measurment of how much it will take to get back to baseline.)

cp

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:49 PM  

whoops....food calories should have been listed as 2340

By Blogger cleversponge, at 5:29 PM  

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