Tired cyclists can do the stupidest of things

Cyclists who usually present fairly average levels of cognition can lose it all after a particularly exhausting bike ride

‘Hold your line, keep pedalling’ – track cycling coaches have been repeating this phrase after sprints during training sessions for decades. It’s so that the instructions are burned into the brains of riders by the time they come to race – because when exhaustion, lack of oxygen and a pounding heart rate come together, cyclists can do the stupidest of things.

Once 90 per cent of max heart rate is achieved, individuals used to displaying perfectly adequate levels of cognition are reduced to the dribbling mess you’d probably find if you woke them up at 3.30am after a tequila fuelled night on the town; coordination: disintegrated, vision: double or none, powers of observation: nil.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.