What is in a kilogram?

In April this year we cycled over Du Toitskloof pass before the crack of dawn, as part of a 600km ride and someone started with the Coke bottle analogy. It goes like this.

I like cycling with Derek Lawrence. He tips the scale at a modest 63 kilograms while I come in at a more generous 113 kilograms. This inevitably means we have very different strengths and weaknesses when riding our bicycles.

It also means we operate like a concertina when cycling together, with Derek like a rocket up the hills, while my own efforts could be best compared to a dung beetle manipulating an atlas stone.

In contrast, any plus-sized cyclist knows that momentum is you best friend when the road flattens or the gradient points ever so slightly downwards, provided off course that your brakes are in order.

The difference between us is 50 kilograms. Let that number settle in for a while. Better yet — when down at your local supermarket again, try stacking twenty-five two-liter Coke bottles into a shopping trolley and pushing it around.

Statistics refer to this amount as significant.

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