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The best seventy seconds are spent doing skids


This morning we watched this hilarious video.

The subject is aerodynamics and its effect on the wearer of baggy shorts.

These guys have access to a wind tunnel. Apparently, their research shows that flappy pants will slow you down by seventy seconds over twenty kilometres.

We would argue that anybody who is concerned about seventy seconds in a twenty kilometre mountain bike ride isn't doing it correctly.

If the seventy seconds you are saving by wearing lycra is important, you will never stop to talk to anybody. Nzo’s research reveals that 23.5% of the real value in a mountain bike ride is the wisdom received from the clowns you ride with. A good chunk of the remainder comes from the people met by chance. Most of the people we ride with can not ride fast and talk sensibly at the same time. Stopping for a yak takes time, riding slow enough to say anything meaningful: likewise.

How about eating something other than dirt or bugs? A mountain biker who can eat without stopping is a mountain biker who is not actually mountain biking. Or eating, in any enjoyable sense of the word.

Then there are the views. Even if you ride by yourself, you can validate your activity by stopping in a picturesque setting, propping your bike in the centre of it, capturing the moment on a handheld digital device and uploading it to your social medium of choice. Further research reveals that is not, strictly speaking, a ‘selfie’. But it does say to the world, or at least your ‘friends’, that you are living the dream.

Seventy seconds over twenty kilometres. That is nearly six minutes over 100kms, or 3.5 years over the rest of your life, should you be so lucky.

All these arguments are moot, of course, if you are racing. Seventy seconds is a lot in a race.

But by turning up to race in baggy shorts, you are sending several messages. Firstly, you can spot anybody on the startline three and a half seconds a kilometre and still kick their butt. Secondly, you don’t care about results, check out the wind-resistance of these pants.

And thirdly, even though there is a number on your bars, you plan to have a chat with each marshall, chew your muesli bars thoroughly, with your mouth closed, and take ironic photos of your bike in various places on the race course.

We don’t have hard data, but we are not even sure whether racing a lot is good for you, long term.
Racing could shorten your life by seventy seconds every time you do it, who knows?




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