Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 12/19/12
MIAMI If you saw a 6-foot-8, 250-pound guy riding a bicycle late at night in Miami, that might indeed have been LeBron James. The Heat star forward turned some heads last season when he biked to a home day game against the Chicago Bulls. As for this season, James said he's biked back and forth to three games and they've all been at night. "I got lights on my bike. I'm dead serious," James said. Riding his bike 45 minutes to games and also to some practices this season is one reason James believes he's in the best shape of his life. It's hard to argue considering James' 22 points in Tuesday's 103-92 win over Minnesota at AmericanAirlines Arena marked the 43rd consecutive playoff or regular-season game in which he's tallied 20 or more. "I've got a personal vendetta against myself right now," James said. When asked why, James said it was "because I don't like me." He then said he was joking and gave the real reason why. "I want to get better," James said. "I want to maximize everything I can and not waste an opportunity each and every day to compete and to get better as a player. I want to be the best and I got to push the button sometimes. "I'm just challenging myself. I just got a challenge with myself. I feel like if I'm in the best condition I can be in, it's going to help our team. If I feel like I'm in the best shape I'm in, then we're going to be a better team." The way James has gotten himself in shape, he might be a candidate for next summer's Tour de France. James went so far last Saturday as to not use a drop of gas. "I went without a car all day," James said of the day in which he scored 23 points in a 102-72 home win over Washington 102-72. "To (the morning) shootaround (on his bike). After shootaround. To the game. And (home)." James insists he's "careful when riding in the dark. Still, teammate Dwyane Wade said some on the Heat were concerned when he headed home after the Wizards game. "Everybody was a little worried," Wade said. "But he's a grown man. So it's fine." Still, the NBA is not exactly known for star players biking to and from games. Minnesota forward Lou Amundson used to cycle to games when playing with Phoenix from 2008-10. But he's hardly a star and also lived much closer to the arena than James, who said he can cut his riding time to 30 minutes if he goes very fast. "He's a different animal," Wade said of James. "He's been riding a long (time), and it's great for recovery. But he's a different beast. What can you say?" James said he gets recognized during trips. But just as it's hard to catch James in the open court, it's also difficult to do so when he's in full gear on his bike. "People try to stop me but I'll be in a zone," James said. James said he's been cycling more than ever, and it's quite evident. He said he never was tired while playing 42 minutes and getting 11 assists, seven rebounds and four blocks in Tuesday's win over the Timberwolves. "He wasn't even breathing heavy," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He's been biking so much on his own. He biked to the game the other day. He's turning the corner right now in terms of his conditioning. It's world class, his conditioning." At the rate James is going, he soon might be world class as a cyclist as well as a basketball player. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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