Skinny, hairy legs

As I was leaving work, I didn’t really feel like going for a ride–until I saw the weather. It was raining–not snowing but raining–and I suddenly felt overwhelmingly excited to get outdoors. Of course, by the time I got home, changed into my bike gear, grabbed my bike and walked out the door, the rain had stopped completely … but that didn’t stop me from riding anyway.

I got to thinking, as I was riding up the hillside and into the muddy field roads, that when I ride the mountain bike, the muscles in my legs get tired before my lungs do. I think that’s true for riding flats on the road bike too. But, if I ride the roadie, and much of the riding is climbing, my lungs will peter out before my legs do. And then I got to thinking–"With all of the riding I’ve done over the past few years, why are my legs still skinnier than Michael Rasmussen’s?" That’s what we’ll start calling them–Rasmussen legs.

Of course, these thoughts were only magnified after I got home, threw in the Tour ’04 DVD and saw Lance’s tree-trunk-sized thighs cranking away on L’Alpe D’Huez. What in the heck? I know he didn’t get those just riding a bike …

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14 thoughts on “Skinny, hairy legs

  1. Tom Stormcrowe

    Actually, Caloi, huge tree trunk legs aren\’t necessarily any stronger! They certainly consume more O2 than ropy, "runners Muscles" for lack of a better term. What actually matters is the amount of Actin/ Myosin/ Troponin fiber content activated in the muscle operation. Slender, ropy muscles can actually generate more output/gram mass if properly conditioned. You are a hill climber and the lack of mass actually works in your favor, dontcha know through less inherent O2 demand and greater ability to deal with lactosis in the muscle fiber due to primarily……you guessed it….better O2 saturation overall from a lesser demand! It also requires fewer watts to move a lighter mass. What you primarily need is fast twitch muscle and guess what! That you got!

  2. Zed

    Don\’t get me wrong, Tom, I\’m all for my skinny legs as far as climbing and riding, etc. I guess it was just entertaining to me that I\’ve been leg-pressing and squatting with these things for years now, and they\’re the same size … don\’t misunderstand me, I like it this way for the most part.
    Yeah, don\’t tell, but I\’m actually attempting to skinny up some of the more muscley areas of my bod. The pectorals–they do little or nothing for riding, so I\’m avoiding bench press, pushups, etc. Yeah, the skinnier the better.

  3. Zed

    Not at all–I was actually thinking to myself, "It\’s a good thing Tom got out of long-haul trucking and into the classroom, because it sounds like he really loves this stuff." Believe it or not, I\’m actually really interested in the whole exercise science thing. So when you guys start talking biology, I really do find it extremely interesting. I mean it!

  4. BIg Mike In Oz

    I have no idea what skinny legs look or feel like.  I was doing 12 second furlongs at 18 years of age and the thighs never went away when I entered retirement.  Most of the power is still there except Ican\’t rev it out as far or hold it as long.  The poor skinny guys on the Saturday morning ride can\’t hold my wheel away from a red light, they just have to wait for me to run out of steam.  Which sadly isn\’t long.  But it\’s improving.

  5. Unknown

    Remeber, Lance started out as a 1 day type rider, not a goat. Plus, he has the will power to control the laws of physics like Chuck Norris.

  6. uncadan8

    I actually wish my legs were a little bit smaller, but not much. I am like Big Mike in size – I just don\’t have his power…yet. (I\’ll be coming for ya, Big M!)
    Caloi – If you are doing squats in a routine like I put up in my blog, you WILL grow. You just have to eat like a horse as well. Of course, that is why I weigh over 290 right now….hmm. Genetics does play a big part, but they can be overcome.
    Dan

  7. Zed

    Thanks, Uncadan. I do need to up my power output, but I also need to eliminate some of my topside heft–just a smidgeon of it. I was doing squats all this past winter, so I\’m hoping that helped my situation.

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