Jure Robic, the endurance bicyclist, who pushed himself beyond sleep and beyond reason, rode 50 mph down an unpaved twisty hill and who knows what he was hallucinating when he hit that car and entered into the final, endless ride that is eternity.
[H]e once rode 518.7 miles in 24 hours....Amazing. With races like this, somebody has to be the guy that can go to the greatest extreme. Robic was 45, and it's hard to see how he lasted that long.
One occasional feature of his training regimen, which included daily rides or other workouts stretching between 6 and 10 hours, was a 48-hour period without sleep: a 24-hour ride followed by a 12-hour break followed by a 12-hour workout. ... [He] rode 28,000 miles — more than the circumference of the Earth — every year.
His five victories in the Race Across America, an approximately 3,000-mile transcontinental ride that has been held annually since 1982, are unequaled....
The winner generally sleeps less than two hours out of 24 and finishes in less than nine days....
In 2005, Robic won the race and two weeks later won Le Tour Direct, a 2,500-mile European version with a course derived from Tour de France routes that included 140,000 feet of climbing — almost the equivalent of starting at sea level and ascending Mt. Everest five times. His time was 7 days 19 hours.
As each race went on, Robic’s temper grew shorter and occasionally exploded. He was prone to hallucinations. More than once he leapt off his bicycle to do battle with threatening attackers who turned out to be mailboxes.