Tour de France – Intense Bicycling

The Tour de France is a very intense bicycling race. This is an extremely strenuous bike ride compared to the leisurely bike ride I had with my husband a few days ago. Two extremes in bicycling – one post is for getting a little exercise while enjoying people and nature, and this post is about going all out and really training for some hard core, serious physical exertion.

Tour de France 2011 - Cadel Evans

Racer giving all he’s got for the extreme race of all time.

The Tour de France has been going on annually since 1903. From then until now, there have been a lot of races and various experiences. At first, they learned that night riding wasn’t good, because cheating could happen as the judges couldn’t really see. Occasionally, there have been a few people who have actually died. Here is a little video clip to see what is going on in France right now.

Each year, this event becomes more organized and fine tuned. At one time, they considered having racers be sponsored by companies, but now, there are racers sponsored by country. So, it is kind of like the Olympics with various nations involved. It’s a big deal. This year, they learned that they have to keep the media out of the bike trail, because there was an accident.

There are a couple of weeks of daily intense biking. It takes a lot of grueling preparation to be able to ride up and down hills. You really have to have strong leg muscles from many months of practice riding daily so that you can build up your strength and speed. Studies have shown that those athletes who follow a plant-based diet are able to have longer endurance and better recovery times than those who follow a mixed diet. So, I’m sure a lot of these racers have previously researched this and are following a very healthy dietary regimen in order to win.

Aerial View of a Mountainous Tour de France Racing Day

Aerial View of a Mountainous Tour de France Racing Day

They do get to rest at night, which is something I wondered about. Then, each morning each cyclist is timed from the beginning until the end. They take an overall average time of each days’ races to determine the one who made the fastest time combined.

My family watched the IronMan event that came here to St. George, Utah 2011. My kids were inspired with what they saw of the swimming, running, and biking events. Now, they aspire to want to race also in that someday. The IronMan event could be considered a piece of cake compared to the Tour de France 2011, since the New York Times reported that this bike race in France is the most physiologically challenging race event of all.

You can prepare yourself to race if you are inspired by this major race. You will need to start now before next year’s race and prepare yourself. Start small and don’t kill yourself off at the beginning. Each week, you can become a little better at it until you are eventually racing with the wind and the pros.

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