What does a cycling model represent?
We have said physical models are “representative” of something physical. For Physical Cycling, we need to model the cycle , the cyclist, the cycling process itself such as sprinting or ascents, and specific riding scenarios such as climbing the Alpe d’Huze or a Tour de France Time Trial.
How do we create cycling models?
Physical Cycling is a rich research area, and some of its elements such as the cyclist are not able to be modeled mathematical because of the many variables involved. That said, a significant portion of physical cycling can be modeled mathematically in such way that analytics can be performed on them.
Some cyclists look for something uncomplicated when they can just ride and not worry about any details. So they might be asking why spoil everything by introducing Physics? The answer is because of the effectiveness of these models in describing the cycling process. In particular, mathematical models have an important advantage in that they only require pen and paper, and not the construction of prototypes.
A cyclist is not interested so much in the cycling models as what these models them them about cycling. As we build our models, we will demonstrate some of their mathematical features, but look to quickly get to what these models are telling us. You will find these insights to be surprisingly free of the mathematics used to derive them.