by Lars Hundley
After recently reading all over the web how the new AI chatbot called ChatGPT was going to replace human writers, I decided to go straight to the source put it to the test myself. What did it know about cycling?
Are our jobs safe at RBR for now? Or will you all all be getting your cycling articles from an AI soon? I’d like to stay in the industry, but hopefully I won’t be forced to become a bike mechanic since I can barely adjust a derailleur. Below are all real, unedited responses from ChatGPT to some of my questions.
I started by asking it to weigh in on the age old cycling debate. Trek vs. Specialized.
Should I ride a Specialized or a Trek road bike?
It is difficult for me to say whether a Specialized or a Trek road bike would be better for you without knowing more about your specific needs and preferences as a rider. Both Specialized and Trek are well-respected brands that offer a range of high-quality road bikes, so it is important to consider factors such as the type of riding you plan to do, your budget, and the specific features and components of the bikes that are available.
I would recommend researching and comparing the different models offered by both brands, and perhaps even test riding them to see which one feels the most comfortable and responsive to you. Ultimately, the best road bike for you is the one that fits your individual needs and preferences.
Not much of an answer. Sounds more like a politician who doesn’t want to offend anyone. Maybe ChatGPT was unwilling to take sides on brand comparison debates. So I pressed further, with a different example.
Ok, should I ride a Specialized or a Huffy road bike?
It is generally not recommended to ride a Huffy road bike for serious cycling purposes. Huffy is a brand known for producing low-cost and low-quality bicycles, and their road bikes are likely not designed or built to the same standards as those from reputable and specialized cycling brands like Specialized. Specialized road bikes are specifically engineered and tested for performance and durability, and they are typically made with higher-quality materials and components.
If you are serious about cycling and want a bike that will perform well and last for many miles, I would strongly recommend choosing a road bike from a reputable brand like Specialized over a Huffy.
Not bad, ChatGPT! I guess you do know a little bit. But let’s see if you know anything about training.
How do I increase my VO2 max as a bicyclist?
To increase your VO2 max as a bicyclist, you should focus on training at high intensities, as this will help your body become more efficient at using oxygen. This can be done through interval training, where you alternate between periods of intense effort and active recovery. For example, you could do a set of 8-10 repetitions of 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 60 seconds of active recovery.
You should also make sure you are fueling your body properly with a balanced diet that includes plenty of carbohydrates to provide you with the energy you need for your workouts. Additionally, incorporating strength training exercises, such as squats and lunges, into your routine can also help increase your VO2 max by improving your leg strength and power.
Strength training doesn’t help VO2 max.
While it is true that strength training does not directly increase VO2 max, it can indirectly improve your cardiovascular fitness by helping to increase your leg strength and power. This, in turn, can make you a more efficient cyclist and allow you to ride at a higher intensity for longer periods of time, which can ultimately lead to an increase in VO2 max.
Additionally, strength training can help improve your overall muscular endurance, which can also contribute to improved performance on the bike. So while it may not directly increase VO2 max, incorporating strength training into your routine can still be beneficial for your cycling performance.
Ok ChatGPT, at least you can defend your points of view! Not bad, I guess.
But how would you do with something more theoretical and creative? Say, an imaginary argument between Eddy Merckx and Lance Armstrong about who is the greatest cyclist of all time, in the style of a Seinfeld episode?
INT. MONK’S CAFE – DAY
LANCE ARMSTRONG and EDDY MERCKX are sitting at a booth, sipping coffee and arguing.
LANCE: Come on, Eddy. You know I’m the greatest cyclist of all time. I won seven Tour de France titles.
EDDY: (angrily) You didn’t win any, Lance! Because you cheated!
LANCE: I may have cheated, Eddie, but I still have the yellow jerseys to prove it.
EDDY: Those yellow jerseys are a joke, Lance. They don’t mean anything.
LANCE: They mean something to me, Eddy. They’re a symbol of my hard work and dedication.
EDDY: (sarcastically) Oh, sure. Dedication to cheating, maybe.
LANCE: I’m not proud of what I did, Eddy. But I can’t change the past.
EDDY: You can try to forget it, Lance. But I’ll never forget what you did.
LANCE: I can’t change the past, Eddy. But I can try to make things right.
EDDY: (sighs) Fine. Let’s just move on from this.
LANCE: (relieved) Thank you, Eddy. I appreciate that.
The two men sip their coffee in silence, occasionally shooting each other wary glances.
FADE TO BLACK.
Kind of weird, and definitely not funny, but it was a pretty good attempt. Maybe writing TV scripts are just not its thing, so I tried for some poetry instead. I asked it to write me 10 haikus about cycling. Here were my two favorites.
Cyclists pedaling hard
Their faces grim and determined
Race for the finish line
Bicycling is fun
Racing on two wheels is the best
Until you crash, that is!
Those might actually be better than what I’d write myself. Overall, ChatGPT was doing fairly respectably. I decided to ask it directly whether or not I needed to start polishing up my resume.
ChatGPT, will you take away my job as a cycling journalist and just answer everyone’s cycling questions and give them advice without me? Should I be looking for another line of work?
It’s unlikely that a large language model like myself will be able to replace you as a cycling journalist. While I can provide information and advice on a wide range of topics, I am not capable of doing the in-depth research and analysis that a human journalist is capable of.
Additionally, I do not have the ability to browse the internet or access up-to-date information, so I may not always be able to provide the most accurate or current information.