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Old 10-21-03, 03:42 AM   #1
Vitamin X
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Man on Bike vs Man on Horse - Which is faster???...

Consider a man on a Mountain bike in a competition just a tad over 22 Miles against man on a horse. Who do you think would win and under what circumstances???.

I am considering all types of horses and terrain. The course is over rough Country ground, mainly flat with the horse running on the grass alongside.

Also, Could an endrance runner stand a chance of beating the horse over the same course and distance???...

Thoughts???...

Last edited by Vitamin X; 10-21-03 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 10-21-03, 03:58 AM   #2
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While a horse can run faster, it loses in endurance. So over the long haul, the mountain biker will pull the horse in.13.1 miles, the MTB would probably prevail. Also, an endurance runner would have a really good shot at it.
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Old 10-21-03, 07:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vitamin X
Consider a man on a Mountain bike in a competition just a tad over 22 Miles against man on a horse. Who do you think would win and under what circumstances???.

I am considering all types of horses and terrain. The course is over rough Country ground, mainly flat with the horse running on the grass alongside.

Also, Could an endrance runner stand a chance of beating the horse over the same course and distance???...

Thoughts???...
Have you been reading Walden?
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Old 10-21-03, 07:55 AM   #4
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Have you been reading Walden?
Walden???...
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Old 10-21-03, 08:06 AM   #5
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At one point in his life Jesse Owens was reduced to racing with horses. He used to beat them in short sprints. I guess it takes longer for a horse to get up to speed.

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Old 10-21-03, 08:13 AM   #6
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Funny Cide (the 2003 Kuntucky Derby winner) ran a 2:01.19 for 1.25 miles, which puts him at about 37.5mph
So for the distance no man can run that fast, and I dont think that sprinters can hold up that speed for that long of a distance
I personally think that if a horse is in shape, then it can beat a mtb on the same course, saying that it is rideable by both
just my thoughts
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Old 10-21-03, 09:21 AM   #7
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Funny Cide (the 2003 Kuntucky Derby winner) ran a 2:01.19 for 1.25 miles, which puts him at about 37.5mph. So for the distance no man can run that fast, and I dont think that sprinters can hold up that speed for that long of a distance. I personally think that if a horse is in shape, then it can beat a mtb on the same course, saying that it is rideable by both
just my thoughts
You have lost the point...

The course is no where near 1.25 Miles in length, its 22 Miles... We all ready know horses can outrun daylight, but this isn't a sprint, Are horses quick over an endurance distance???...

Read my post again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin X
Consider a man on a Mountain bike in a competition just a tad over 22 Miles against man on a horse. Who do you think would win and under what circumstances???.

I am considering all types of horses and terrain. The course is over rough Country ground, mainly flat with the horse running on the grass alongside.

Also, Could an endrance runner stand a chance of beating the horse over the same course and distance???...

Thoughts???...

A sprinter couldn't even come close to racing at speeds of 37MPH. They usually travel at 27-28MPH and can only hold that for 150-200 Metres.
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Old 10-21-03, 09:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DanFromDetroit
At one point in his life Jesse Owens was reduced to racing with horses. He used to beat them in short sprints. I guess it takes longer for a horse to get up to speed.

Dan
I read about that one Dan. But the race was rigged! First it was short. And second, the beginning of the race was signalled by a starter pistol. They fired the pistol nearly in the horse's ear so while the horse was recovering from the shock and the "What the @*#$ was that!", Jesse was flying down the track.
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Old 10-21-03, 09:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin X
Consider a man on a Mountain bike in a competition just a tad over 22 Miles against man on a horse. Who do you think would win and under what circumstances???.

I am considering all types of horses and terrain. The course is over rough Country ground, mainly flat with the horse running on the grass alongside.

Also, Could an endrance runner stand a chance of beating the horse over the same course and distance???...

Thoughts???...
Well, I think it depends on the course. A really nasty technical course would slow the mountain biker and probably have less effect on the horse. Four legs trump wheels on really nasty terrain. You can ride a horse over stuff that you would never think of riding a mountain bike. You don't see mountain bikes in steeple chases now do you? I know if you threw in a nice river to ford, the horse would win swimming away. Now on really steep grades, you do have to get off a horse and walk. But that is really steep stuff. I don't know how horses compare against mountain bikes on going up grades. Also cyclists have a big advantage over horses on downhills - wheels win here.

Now, for 22 miles a road cyclist can scorch a horse. A good local racer can do that in less then an hour and I don't think that there is a horse alive that can do that.

An endurance runner would really not have a chance against a horse in 22 miles. Runners are just too slow. Cavalry could travel 100+ miles in a day and anything over 25 miles is a lot for infantry. Thing is that you use up horses fast if you keep them at it day after day and people seem to recover better. For long distances, humans get competitive because horses take a long time to eat. People can catch horses just by chasing them on foot. It just takes a long time and a lot of determination.

I understand that in England they have a cross country race with people on mountain bikes, horses and riders and runners competing. I don't know which group ends up winning though.
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Old 10-21-03, 02:05 PM   #10
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There was a whole magazine article comparing man to horse in a recent edition of a bicycle magazine published by the Saturn car company. They sponsor a bike team and this free mag was all about cycling - pretty good articles. I got a copy at a local cycle event. Don't know if the Saturn Cycling team magazine is on line or not.
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Old 10-21-03, 03:15 PM   #11
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There was a whole magazine article comparing man to horse in a recent edition of a bicycle magazine.
So what was the outcome???...
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Old 10-21-03, 06:14 PM   #12
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So what was the outcome???...
I had to wait until I got home to find the article again. It’s a whole page of data. Comparing a horse and rider to a bike and rider – weight, calories, height, race speed etc.

There’s also a side bar that tells a story of Jack Simes “a one time Olympian and legend in American pro cycling circles”. In 1972, in New York as a promotional stunt for the Olympics Jacke raced a harness racer around a standard harness track. The account is very exciting, but the result is that Jack won by 21 lengths.
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Old 10-21-03, 06:38 PM   #13
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I know you asked about mountain bikes, but I ride a road bike and have passed horses. There are Amish buggies around here (central Pa). They don't race but they go down the road at a pretty good clip. They sometimes have a long way to go so they are trotting pretty well. I'm no racer but I can catch and pass them without too much trouble. They go a little faster than I can on the uphill, but I am faster on the flats and (of course) downhill.
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Old 10-21-03, 07:11 PM   #14
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Let's go with the possibility of a moderately rough trail. If a horse can do a mile and a quarter in 2 minutes and at 37 miles an hour, what do you think the average speed of the cyclist would be? My guess would be that they could keep up a pace of about 15 miles an hour. The horse is going more than twice that speed though. I would say that the horse would have time to cool down between sprints and would probably be able to keep out front. And to be honest with you 15 is probably more than the cyclist can actually do.
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Old 10-21-03, 09:24 PM   #15
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I was chasing a truck up a 14% grade on my bike a couple of weeks ago. I gave him some start and was seriously reeling him in until the hill levelled out. I think he was carrying horses. Does that count?
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Old 10-21-03, 09:28 PM   #16
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We'll give that one to ya Chris. That's pretty funny.
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Old 10-22-03, 01:30 AM   #17
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hm... interesting question to consider...

it all depends on the course: length and difficulty.

i ride extreme XC/freeride and so i often ride very steep/rocky technical _hiking_ trails in the Alps. on these trails _HIKERS_ sometimes pass me on the technical sections as all the rocks, fallen logs and huge obstacles slow me down more than those one foot (plus dismounting and walking for really HUGE stuff). of course as soon as the trail gets less technical i catch up and blast by them (not rudely and unsafely of course)

first assume the runner, the horse and the MTBer are all fit and skilled...

i would say on a non-technical course the MTBer would almost always win:
* uphill:
-- horse slightly faster i think (10)
-- MTB(5) about the same speed as a runner(5) (i did the Zugspitz mountain run in July and ran up 20-30% grades for 2200meters vertical and i also ride the same course on my MTB in roughly the same speed/time. the top pro runners were faster than me (roughly 2 hours for the 2200meters) but then pro hillclimb cyclists are also faster than me by roughly the same (for SHORT distance the runner is faster but cannot sprint the whole way, so i think it is roughly the same --- probably for >30% the runner is faster and you reach a point where the cyclist can no longer ride due to traction, especially if dirt/gravel)
*on the flat:
--- MTB faster (10)
--- horse nearly as fast (8)
--- runner slower (5)
*downhill:
--- MTB fastest by far (10)
--- horse slower (3)
--- runner much slower (1)

now on a VERY technical course where the MTBer would have major obstacles, maybe small cliffs, streams to ford, etc, i think on a very technical course the horse would win:
--- horse can navigate amazing terrain with 4 long legs and jumping ability (10)
--- runner can navigate quite a bit too (8)
--- but even a trials, downhill or freeride MTBer gets significantly slowed down by obstacles like major drops, fallen logs, stream crossing, etc (1)

*** my number is a 1-10 estimate, 10 being best, for that type

Note: i was verysurprized a few years ago in an XC MTB race where the boyfriend of one of the top women ran alongside her (he was a pro distance/hillclimb runner) and actually waited for her at the top of the hills and until the last descent was with her the whole race (about 15 mile technical XC course, with the last descent being maybe 4 miles, so he ran about 11) -- i passed him but only b/c he waited for his girlfriend
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Old 10-22-03, 08:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamajo25
Let's go with the possibility of a moderately rough trail. If a horse can do a mile and a quarter in 2 minutes and at 37 miles an hour, what do you think the average speed of the cyclist would be? My guess would be that they could keep up a pace of about 15 miles an hour. The horse is going more than twice that speed though. I would say that the horse would have time to cool down between sprints and would probably be able to keep out front. And to be honest with you 15 is probably more than the cyclist can actually do.

Well, first off not any old horse can do 37 mph. That was a champion race horse on a perfect surface running as fast as he could. He can not do that on a trail and he can not do it far. Also, racing is extremely taxing. The horse can not just catch his breath and do it again.

I really do not think that a horse can sustain 15 mph for very long. That is a lot faster then you think. Cavalry on the march generally averaged about 7 mph.

Now there are endurance races for horses. There are some held out in CA where the horses do 100 miles in a day. But they have mandatory stops and vet checks. 100 miles in a day is a really serious distance for a horse and in order to do it, the horse has to be in superb shape and have a good rider. A poor rider can kill a horse surprisingly quickly.
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Old 10-22-03, 08:31 AM   #19
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Thoughts???...
Horse.
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Old 10-22-03, 08:35 AM   #20
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I found the race in England that I was thinking of. It is the William Hill Man vs Horse Marathon held in Wales. It is a horse against a runner on a trail. It might be pretty hilly. The winning horse recently had a time of just over 2 hours for an average speed of 11 mph. In 24 years, no human runner has beaten the winning horse. Humans have come surprisingly close though, lagging by just a couple of minutes.

I would think for that distance and course, a strong mountain biker should have no problem winning. Of course, on a paved road, any recreational cyclist could win easily.
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Old 10-22-03, 10:18 AM   #21
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In the 2003 endurance horse racng championship (AERC ) the fastest horse finished 50 miles with a 16.7kph average. The course was trails near Red Rock, Nevada.

Sounds like a cyclist vs. equestrian race might be close.
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Old 10-22-03, 11:03 AM   #22
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I don't think a cyclist would have a problem beating a horse. A mtb rider (and I don't think he was a top ranking pro) beat the horse by 3 min in the 1989 marathon Pat mentioned (William Hill Man vs Horse)
I would also bet that an elite marathoner could beat a horse over 22 miles on an actual marathon course (no river fording etc)
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Old 10-22-03, 11:15 AM   #23
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what do you think the average speed of the cyclist would be? My guess would be that they could keep up a pace of about 15 miles an hour.
I have ridden 100 miles in 5 hours. The pros ride 100 miles in less than 4 hours.
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Old 10-22-03, 11:23 AM   #24
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Something that has to be keep in mind when comparing a horse to a bike... the horse is an animal and that means that it has to eat and drink, something that a bike does not, this adds time
In endurance racing (for horses) the competators have to stop at check point along the way where the horse is examined (i.e. pulse and temperature) to prevent over heating of the horse, so there are things that make a horse sound like it is going slower then it really is
The winner finished in 11 and a half hours for 100miles, which I know that a biker could beat, but the trails are for the most part not bikeable and there are creek crossing and things of that nature
http://www.equisearch.com/equiwire/r...02/equset3204/
I am still pulling for the horse (but not by much) on a very difficult XC course, but it all depends on the case
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Old 10-22-03, 11:50 AM   #25
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Quote:
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I am still pulling for the horse (but not by much) on a very difficult XC course, but it all depends on the case
I agree. If an endurance horse can cover 50 miles at @ 10mph. He should be able to cover a little over twenty miles considerably faster. The course for the 50 mile AERC was very difficult terrain.
http://www.homestead.com/qsendurance/files/NC50map.jpg

I think it would be close.
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