The Man Who Ate Bicycles

Michel Lotito
from The Daily Mail

Michel Lotito died of natural causes at age 57 in 2007. You’d think he might have died of some sort of digestive disorder because he is known as the man who ate things. By things, I mean he ate TV sets, shopping carts, glassware, even a Cessna airplane. In all, he is said to have eaten over 9 tons of metal. The reason he is mentioned here is that he also at 18 bicycles. He did this by grinding them into powder. He was also known in his native France as Monsieur Mangetout, which translates into “Mr. Eat Everything,” and The Human Ostrich.

Hillclimbing

the psychology of bicycle hillclimbing

Some people don’t like going up hills. For them, the worst is climbing a hill in a headwind. Others take it all as a challenge.

One school of thought is to drop into the lowest practical gear, pedal fast with low power, and finally make it to the top.

Another group of people have learned to use a moderatly high gear, stand up, and pedal slowly with considerable power. Of course, the second group will make it to the top faster, but spend more energy in the process.

Racers mostly do it the second way. They’ve become so accustomed to this technique that they’ll use close-range gearing, not even having granny gears on their bikes. This kind of hill climbing is an acquired taste, but interestingly, in time, as long as you’re having a fairly energetic day, it seems more enjoyable.

Yet another group of riders will use electric bikes.


Close-range freewheel
Photo by Chris 73, via Wikimedia Commons