Does Altitude Affect Motorcycle Riders?

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the oldest motorsport races in the U.S. For more than 90 years, hundreds of motorcycle and auto racers have tested their skills on the track, which spans 12.42 miles and climbs 5,000 feet up the famous mountain.

Only amateurs are fooled by the term motorsport, because riders must be in top physical condition to compete at Pikes Peak. Even at sea level, motorcyclists need muscles in their core, legs, back and arms to navigate their bikes effectively.

After so many turns, riders often experience muscle fatigue and cramps that can hinder their performance. At Pikes Peak, the high altitude means less oxygen, and the thin air slows reflexes and saps muscle strength.

Motors need oxygen too. By the time riders reach the summit, their motors have lost 30 percent of their original power. Without the proper conditioning, some riders may not even finish the race, let alone become “King of the Mountain”.

This year’s competition drew racers from around the world to Colorado Springs, many hoping to set a course record and distinguish themselves as one of the best riders in the world. The event took a somber turn after a Texas rider was killed on the track, but the remaining participants rallied to regain their spirit and good humor.

The winner of the Pikes Peak 2014 lightweight division was Cal Collins. His run (winning time: 10:58.203) was a mere four seconds shorter than his nearest competition, but it was enough to grant him the victory.

The rider credits his near flawless run with a sports oxygen regimen during training and before the competition. Collins claims the extra oxygen improved his endurance and shortened his recovery time after a workout, while providing mental clarity and improved reaction time.

When athletes compete at higher altitudes, oxygen can be a deciding factor in their performance. Riders can suffer from headaches, shortness of breath and muscle cramps if they do not train properly for the elevation.

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Colorado

Competitions like Pikes Peak have a proven safety record, but the Texas rider’s death proved that professional riders can still have accidents. At Metier Law Firm, we are dedicated to keeping riders safe while they do what they love. If you need legal representation in a motorcycle accident, call us today for a free consultation. As experienced attorneys who ride, we know how to help you.

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