The Exquisite, Intricate Insanity of Riding a Bike at 184 MPH

At 35 pounds and more than 7 feet long, it’s twice the size of a normal bike. The low-slung frame features geometry cribbed from the bike that Dutch cyclist Fred Rompelberg used to set the existing record at 167 mph in 1995. The walls of the hollow carbon-fiber frame tubes are three times thicker than those of conventional frames. The 17-inch tires were swiped from a motorcycle, since no cycling rubber is rated for anything near these speeds. A steering stabilizer and a custom-tuned suspension fork borrowed from downhill racing dampen irregularities in the unpaved salt track. The compound reduction gear—essentially two drivetrains joined together—is five times larger than a conventional racing bike’s top gear. That’s why pedaling from a standstill is like trying to start a car in sixth gear.

.. Just as important as the bike is the car. Mueller-Korenek will draft an 800-horsepower Top Alcohol dragster—the same one Rompelberg used. It accelerates more smoothly than the supercharged Range Rover SVR she used in 2016, but its aerodynamic fairing creates a low-pressure draft pocket just 46 inches wide, leaving Mueller-Korenek little lateral maneuvering room.

.. Holbrook will feather the throttle to pull as smoothly and quickly as possible over the first mile, which should get her to 110 mph.

Then Mueller-Korenek will release the tether, and Holbrook will accelerate to around 130 or 140 mph, monitoring Mueller-Korenek’s nonverbal communications via a camera: nods to accelerate, head shakes to back off. A color-coded series of lights on the back of the dragster will show Mueller-Korenek how far they’ve gone, and how much track is left.

.. now pedaling around 110 rpm—will have to hold 168 mph between mile markers 4 and 5, where the timing traps measure her average speed. As Holbrook accelerates, the cyclist will push 700 watts for more than a minute to stay inside the draft pocket behind the dragster’s fairing. That’s about what a Tour de France sprinter produces in the final minute of a stage.

The Exercise That Helps Mental Health Most

Certain fitness routines do more to help avoid depression, stress or other emotional problems, new research finds

We assume exercise improves our mental health. But what kind of exercise works best?

Researchers looking at the link between physical activity and mental health found that

  1. team sports fared best,
  2. followed by cycling, either on the road or a stationary bike.

Tour de France Winner Chris Froome Is Under Investigation After Failed Doping Test

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome was placed under investigation by cycling authorities on Wednesday morning after a doping control showed abnormally high levels of an asthma drug at the Vuelta a Espana in September.

.. “It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are,” Froome said. “I use an inhaler to manage my symptoms (always within the permissible limits) and I know for sure that I will be tested every day I wear the race leader’s jersey.”

.. Salbutamol use is permitted by Union Cycliste Internationale rules in concentrations up to 1000 nanograms per millileter, but Froome’s sample showed twice the allowable dose.

“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage,” Froome said. “As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.

Lance Armstrong Is Said to Meet With Usada Chief in Bid to Cut Ban

Mercier, who said he quit the sport in 1997 because of his refusal to dope, is a friend of both Tygart’s and Armstrong’s.

.. Tygart noted that in June 2012, his agency was prepared to offer Armstrong a six-month penalty similar to those given to the other riders who had helped its investigation. Armstrong refused, and has continued to do so, and Usada proved its case without him.

“It was a huge missed opportunity,” Tygart said. Using the French acronym for the cycling union, he added: “It would have gotten rid of the leadership of the U.C.I. a lot quicker, and it would have gotten rid of other people in the system who were implicated in doping.