these athletes are so far beyond our imagination, the mind boggles:
watch from 4:23 as multiple RAAM winner Christof Strasser "gets back" on his bike after a (short) sleep
(never mind the german commentary, just watch the pics) - they yell at him from the chase car: "there is a red traffic light!"
there is a second Austrian ultra-cyclist named "Strasser", Michael Strasser (setting records for Race across Russia, Cairo2Cape, Ice2Ice), he is unrelated to Christof Strasser, same age.
Both their surnames could be translated as "streeter"...
& for those of you with less time to spare:
Race around Austria: 2.200km (1375miles), 35.000m climbs (116.666feet) https://www.racearoundaustria.at/
benchmarK: Ch. Strasser: 3d 11h 26min, avg. 26,25kmh (16,6mph), accumulates sleep time 1:05h
(we are talking about a different species here, apparently, not your run-of-the-mill homo sapiens)
Funnily enough, one of my podcasts I was listening to the other day was talking about a sport I’d never heard of, bikepacking. It’s ultra distance mountain biking over mostly wilderness trails (or no trail at all), unsupported. One such race is the Arizona Trail, 807 miles from the Mexico border to the Utah border. The tricky bit is that the trail crosses the Grand Canyon, where bikes aren’t allowed. The bike has to be disassembled and carried 24 miles down the south rim and back up the north rim (I had a hard enough time climbing up with no equipment at all save water and food). A woman named Lael Wilcox set the overall record last year at nine days and some hours, beating the nearest men’s time by over two hours. Sadly she was DQ’d by the fact that her wife’s production company filmed the run… Apparently race rules are extremely strict about the unsupported aspect. You can have random people cheer you on at stops or trail crossings, but can’t see loved ones repeatedly, even if they’re not offering anything (even a water bottle). She’s doing the race again this year to clear her name so best of luck! I couldn’t imagine willingly doing that once, let alone twice, let alone making a career out of it. Different species, indeed!
I have a friend that has done a bunch of those "brevet" rides, Paris - Brest - Paris a few times, some in the US and Canada. There is a training / qualifying series put on out of Gainesville, FL. I have done some of the training/qualifying rides with him but yeah, it is a different mindset. I don't think those sort of people feel pain like most of us do.