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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Cheetah is fast But !!!!

A couple of months ago I was suffering from insomnia and found myself watching a documentary in the early hours of the morning revealing the fastest animals on the planet. The results were fascinating, especially number 10 which is now firmly etched in my brain.

1. Cheetah (Speed in mph :70 )
2. Pronghorn Antelope (Speed in mph :61 )
3. Wildebeest (Speed in mph :50 )
4. Lion (Speed in mph :50 )
5. Thomson's Gazelle (Speed in mph :50 )
6. Quarterhorse (Speed in mph :47.5 )
7. Elk (Speed in mph :45 )
8. Cape Hunting Dog (Speed in mph :45 )
9. Coyote (Speed in mph :43 )

10. Bad Tempered Spandex Muncher on Olde Washington Road
(Speed in excess of 33 mph )

All I can say in National Geographic's defence is that perhaps the dog that chased me today was probably not from this Planet, but sent down to create a colony of dogs whose sole aim in life is to torment:
  • Cyclists
  • Mailmen
  • Pizza Delivery
  • Newspaper Delivery
  • Cats
  • Cars
Don't get me wrong, I am a huge dog lover and one that has nursed his fair share of dogs in his time.You think they would know? Perhaps I can get a "Florence Nightingale for Dogs" sticker to put on my bike. A kind of "get out of jail free" card for cyclists, where the pursuing dog will notice the membership and revert to the next rider in line.
When the "Beast of Burden" started to make chase I thought about Mark Cavendish or Chris Hoy and that even if I could manage 2/3rds of their sprinting skills I may have a chance. The faster I went the more the beast drooled looking at my latex clad backside as his own personnel Sunday Lunch.
This beast didn't care about the veggies or gravy all he wanted was Rare Rump!!!
After I finally evaded the dog I looked back fearing that Andy & Sean (My cycling buddies) would be a mess of gnarled bodies lying by the roadside I was surprised to see the dog was not even interested in them.
When I got home later and plugged in my Garmin I was not surprised at all that my heart rate had topped 190 bpm and my speed had passed the 30 mph. This got my thinking how fast could one actually go on a bike.
In track sprint racing riders are timed over the final 200 metres and top riders will regularly clock under 11 seconds which is close to 40 mph. I know from experience that a road with a gradual downgrade and a following wind are optimum for higher speeds.
Add in a "Beast" for good measure and who knows?? (More on the subject)
For those of you who have there own neighborhood harbinger of terror here are a few good links:

1 comment:

  1. apparently a rider in the Giro was recently clocked at 73 mph - no wonder they went on strike!