real life cycling

Wanted: bigger lungs


Cyclists, I’m told, are the most materialistic of all people who participate in sport. At the risk of making a clunky opening paragraph clunkier, I could now spend the next 500 words elaborating on why “people who participate in sport” and “cyclists” are two very different categories.

But I won’t. I’ve probably covered that more than once already on this website.

So assuming we can compare weekend tennis players, and committed fell-runners, and open water swimmers and…gulp…traithletes, with cyclists, we are apparently the ones who tend to “want” more “stuff”.

A quick trawl of all the lifestyle-y cycling content online might confirm that.

I had a little think about this, using myself as a wholly representative sample of the UK’s cyclists. I came to the conclusion that yes, I’d quite like a Wilier Cento 10 AIR, and a pair of Fizik R1B UOMO shoes, and some Chpt.III kit, but there’s actually only one thing that I really “want” in the grasping, frenzied sense of the word.

Bigger lungs.

The times when I feel at my euphoric best on the bike are the ones when I’m balletic and light on the pedals, and have that rare feeling of endless power in the legs.

The worst times are when my riding partner disappears out of view over the brow of a hill, leaving me grovelling, gasping, and seriously considering having a stroke right there at the roadside.

The desirability of my accessories is a secondary issue.

If I rode a Wilier Cento and wore Fizik shoes and Chpt.III kit it would have only a limited effect on the height of the euphoria or the depth of the grovel. It would also raise the question of whether someone doing such a large amount of grovelling should really be allowed out in public with such rare and expensive kit.

But that’s a can of worms I’d rather leave firmly shut.

That fact is that if I had bigger lungs I would grovel less and euphoriate (yes, it’s a new word, and it’s mine…) more.

If it were possible to buy a pair of brand new, super-efficient, oversized lungs at my local bike shop then I would covet, crave, and salivate at the thought of them.

I’d probably buy a “good” set of expensive summer lungs with fancy detailing and vintage stylings (although i’d steer clear of merino wool – I can’t imagine woollen lungs are going to solve my problems), and a second pair for winter use when the air is thick with bad weather.

All of which raises one further thought.

If you notice that your local bike shop sells human lungs, you should probably check that it is actually a bike shop. And either way, you should probably stop spending your money there.

It doesn’t sound very reputable.

(Image: via

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10 comments on “Wanted: bigger lungs

  1. Get a Cento 10 air! I rode mine in my local cyclosportive last Saturday and was flying (relatively) up 8% average gradients (it weighs 7.4 kgs without pedals, size XL) with Campag Chorus + Eurus wheels. Was wearing Giro Empire mountain bike shoes + Time Atac carbon pedals – perfect!


  2. Vintage-styled lungs. Would find many takers among non-cyclists and an unholy queue outside the shop. Letting out such secrets shall cost you.


  3. What about non-human lungs? I hear horse lungs are pretty damn big… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Archetype

    As far fetched as it may seem, this will be possible in the future. How far in the future depends…but suffice to say, we won’t be around to see it. Or buy it!

    Organ science is making rapid advancements. Some of it is publicized, most of t is not. But in any case… in the future people will be able to custom order a baby with high capacity pulmonary capability. Same with the heart, and so forth.

    Designer babies are still a long way off, but will be a reality. (another story also…about ordering super-human athletes- what then anti-doper muppets? lmao)

    But, there will also be the availability of replacing your organs with perfected ones grown in a lab, which might come sooner. Still a ways off, but this technology and scientific research will eventually be a reality. Imagine in 50 or so years, an aspiring athlete wants more pulmonary capacity. If he or she can afford it, a lung transplant will be on the menu.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like a moral minefield to me! 😳

      Liked by 1 person

      • Archetype

        Like everything else in life…once big corporations collude with government (National Socialism economic platforms) then all morals and ethics go away. This HAS and is the case with most every western government around the world.

        So, it will continue. Hell, they are growing organs in labs as we speak. If money is to be made, then morals and ethics have no place as far as the tyrannical leaders are concerned.

        AND as long as the ‘people’ KEEP voting for these corrupted scumbags, again, nothing will deviate from its profit-driven course.


  5. Chikashi

    or a motor… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Getting high (altitude) at the Tour of Colombia – road|THEORY

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