As of last Thursday, there are 8,045,311,447 people on planet Earth. Of this mass of hair, bone, and teeth; 4,042,987,695 are male.
404,000,000 of these are aged 60–70. Not all of these men have their own teeth.
If each of these 400 million men had a bike and entered a cycle cross race, the start line would stretch to the moon and back five times.
We would need to grid them. If they all ran tubeless tyres—800 million tyres at 60 ml tyre- the sealant required would fill 5300 swimming pools. The UCI regulation pits for the entry field would circle the globe, at the 60th parallel north circle of latitude.
By lap 4, one man out of the 400 million 60- to 70-year olds on this planet would be clear on his own. They would have distanced him on the straights, but he rides mud like tarmac and corners like a gazelle with a leopard at 10 metres to the hoof.
With the bell ringing in his ear, he would chance a look over his shoulder for any sign of the mass of 400 million men chasing him. He would look to the heavens to ask his guardian, Gerry, to make sure his chain, which was last oiled in March, and his chainrings, which were changed in early 2017, to last only 8 more corners. The air would be thin on the last lap, with the entire field breathing in 35 hot air balloons of oxygen every 2 seconds.
On the final grass straight in Hamburg, Johnny McCabe crossed the line, the fastest old cyclecrosser in our solar system.
Top marks boyo.
super photo by Sean Rowe