All About the Tour de France
The Tour de France starts at the end of this week. As an avid cyclist, I love to watch it and find it offers great opportunities for science, health and physical education classes. Here are some of my essential resources for teaching and learning about the Tour de France.
The science of bikes and cycling
There is a lot of physics involved in casual cycling and racing. Here is a selection of videos that explain the physics of cycling.
The first time you ride in a pack of experienced riders, you will feel the power of traction. In addition to their incredible physical condition and their handling of the bike, the design helps the Tour de France cyclists to move quickly. The following video explains how copywriting works.
Minute Physics offers two videos on bike physics. In How do bicycles stand upright? we learn how bikes stay upright, how design and weight influence balance, and why bikes are difficult to balance in reverse. The counter-intuitive physics of rotating a bicycle explains how we rotate bikes.
The diet of a Tour de France rider
I’ve done long days on my bike over the years including a two-century ride and at the end of it always felt like I could eat anything in sight. It is because I have burned thousands of calories. But even then, I didn’t burn the 6,000-8,000+ calories that a typical Tour de France rider burns each day of the race.
What does it look like and what does it feel like to eat like a professional cyclist? That’s what Joshua Robinson of The Wall Street Journal decided to find out in his 6,000 calorie challenge. Watch the video below to see how he did it. Watch out for the pro rider at the 2:40 mark in the video for some energy gel commentary, as it surprises you and makes you rethink whether or not the average weekend warrior needs the expensive “energy” stuff. sporty “for just one hour of training.
If you’d like to dig a little deeper into the science of cycling nutrition, check out this video featuring the nutritionist from EF Education First’s professional cycling team.
How much do professional cyclists earn?