Bradley Wiggins – mean and average

I own a yellow T-shirt. I think I might wear it tomorrow in honour of the man attached to Bradley Wiggins’ sideburns.

After another walloping time trial, Wiggins seems set to become Britain’s first Tour de France winner. However, perhaps the most remarkable thing about all of this is the fact that even if a tiger makes off with one of his legs in the night, Team Sky and Britain have a spare – Chris Froome is in second place.

The race of truth

They call the time trial ‘the race of truth’ and while it’s not such a spectacle for viewers, there’s a clarity in this form of racing which is very satisfying. Froome has been significantly better than almost everyone in the two long time trials during this year’s Tour. Only Wiggins has bettered him, but he has bettered him by some margin.

Do you cycle? How fast can you go on the flat? I’m not too sure, but I might carry out some experiments this week. For his part, Bradley Wiggins topped 50km/h during today’s time trial. I can state this with some certainty, because that was actually his average speed.

Average speed? Mean speed, more like

Average speeds are rarely flattering. You tend to think of your average speed as being the one that you do when it’s flat, windless and the road’s good. However, those conditions are pretty much never encountered.

There always seems to be more uphill than downhill, because you go slower uphill, whereas descents are over in the blink of an eye. Roads are rarely as good as we’d hope and there is always – ALWAYS – a headwind. I don’t know how this is meteorologically possible, but it’s a fact.

With this in mind, consider Bradley Wiggins’ average speed again. He averaged 50km/h and he was cycling for over an hour having covered over 3,000km in the last three weeks.

Maybe I should leave the yellow T-shirt in the drawer. I don’t feel I’ve done enough to be allowed to wear it.