Medical side effects of being a cyclist, and riding the Vuelta a Colombia. Plus, a Belgian wheel theft is captured on video.

From the newspaper El Colombiano's coverage of the Vuelta a Colombia in the early 1950s. Photographed from Ramon Hoyos' personal collection.

Translation, clockwise from the top right, based on cases seen by a reporter, who was also in medical school at the time:

Brain: Severe nervous tension
Nose: Inflammation and colds
Heart: Overworked, persistent stress
Stomach: Indigestion
Muscles: Cramps
In general: Severe physical exhaustion, physical ailments etc, etc
Joints: Pain
(Arrow pointing to groin): Blisters
Intestine: Disorder/not working properly
Skin: Sunburn
Lungs: Overworked
Eyes: Conjunctivitis

Photographed from Ramon Hoyos' personal collection.
Translation, including bits of text that I cropped, in order for the main image to be larger: 

338 Calories per kilometer

If the energy used by the riders during the Vuelta could be summoned all at once, it would allow one of them to lift as much as 36,000 pounds!

The human machine behind every cyclist generated enough energy to walk from Bogota to Chile.

1,125 bowls of broth, 2,250panelas, and 2,250 liters of milk are needed by each rider during the Vuelta.

*This last way of measuring the amount of food intake by the reporter is particularly funny, in how very Colombian it is. Only in Colombia, where chicken broth and panela are both considered to be almost their own food groups, would a newspaper article quantify caloric intake using these two examples.


Last week, I mentioned that at the Côte de la Redoute, I saw some young and rather crazed Gilbert fans steal a wheel from a Radio Shack-Nissan team car. Whenever one of their team vehicles would go by, they would boo, and rock the car back and forth as it came to a halt. To be fair, this also happened with other team cars, and at least twice drivers got out and tried to confront the rowdy perpetrators. At any rate, I failed to capture the wheel stealing incident, but was amazed when I received an email from a fellow spectator who did in fact capture it. 

He must have been standing right next to me, which is a pity considering that we didn't meet. The fellow spectator is none other than Daniel Wakefield Pasley, one half of the Manual For Speed project. Unlike his excellent work for MFS (that's what those of us who are in the know call it), this video is just rough, behind-the-scenes iPhone footage. If you want to see what Daniel and Emiliano Granado are really up to, go here. So without further ado, here's the video.

Those of you who live in and around New Mexico should go see the Tour Of Gila this weekend, since the Colombian National Team will be there. Stop by, say hello, and remember how out of sorts they must feel while racing in the US.