Mark McClusky at Wired has an interesting article about how pro cyclist Floyd Landis measured his power output during the just-concluded Tour de France (where he placed ninth overall): Powering Through the Tour.
On his way to a ninth-place finish, Landis spent nearly four hours of the Tour at a power output level of more than 500 watts — that’s a flat-out sprint to most recreational riders, who can only generate that sort of power for seconds at a time. For professionals, it’s the ability to ride at this nearly superhuman level that separates champions from the rest of the pack.
I’m going to be riding a lot more in the future: my officemates and I just signed a lease for new digs (here are some pictures) in Fremont, which is about a 4 mile ride from my house. Problem is, at least for now, it’s all uphill on the way home; it takes about 15 minutes to get there, and about 40 minutes to return. And I’m not in very good shape. But I’m sure that will change as I haul my butt up 8th Ave. several times per week!