After getting a desk job I gained some weight, I took up cycling to try and keep fit. And I can completely understand what this article talks about. There are some guys I ride with that can haul, but are bigger than me. I am not strong, fast, and do not like really big distances but do OK.
It turns out that others, too, have been struck by the paradox of bicycling fitness.
â€œWhen I first got into cycling, I would see cyclists and say, â€˜O.K., thatâ€™s not what I perceive a cyclist to be,â€™ â€ said Michael Berry, an exercise physiologist at Wake Forest University. Dr. Berry had been a competitive runner, and he thought good cyclists would look like good runners â€” rail-thin and young.
But, Dr. Berry added, â€œI quickly learned that when I was riding with someone with a 36-inch waist, I could be looking at the back of their waist when they rode away from me.â€
He came to realize, he said, that cycling is a lot more forgiving of body type and age than running. The best cyclists going up hills are those with the best weight-to-strength ratio, which generally means being thin and strong. But heavier cyclists go faster downhill. And being light does not help much on flat roads.