I'm not redefining anything. My original comment referred to "people", the original comment in the article referred to "our ancestors". To interpret the context as anything other than what applied to people living back then in a broad, plural sense is unreasonable, and only one someone trolling for an irrelevant argument might make. ;)
Yes, you're correct there were prototypical cars a long time ago, before even bicycles - slightly interesting, thanks. They were though very slow, impractical and very very *very* *few* in number - in no way available to people generally, such as "our ancestors".
Feel free to continue arguing that point though, I won't respond. ;)
As for distance, 72 km is well within the capabilities of many people, with a limited amount of training, from a few months to maximum a year (depending on pre-existing fitness). Humans actually have remarkable endurance. It's one of the few physiological characteristics we excel at in the animal world (least, amongst mammals), other than brain power. We used to survive by chasing, nominally faster, animals to exhaustion. Distances of 160 to 200 km are easily achievable within a day by average humans, on bicycles on paved roads, with just a year or so of adaption to the bicycle, as long as they eat underway. They won't do it at the speed of professional cyclists, but they can do it none the less.
As a data-point, my great-auntie used to cycle 40 km to find food during the dutch winter famine in WWII. On a bicycle with no tyres - which is far far more inefficient than with tyres. She had before then been no great cyclist (no more than normal dutch), never mind being a professional cyclist, and she would have quite under-nourished. Also, go to any road cycling club to find examples that will prove what I'm what telling.
Given your comment about paved roads, it seems you havn't actually read my comment. My speed and time estimates were for *unpaved* roads. With paved roads, sustainable speeds for average humans *increase* to 20 to 25 km/h and journey times for 72 km go down to under 3 hours.
That's definitely not all day. Indeed, it's short enough you could go early, get some business done, and make the return journey (though, probably better to stay the night).
A fit, but average, man on a bicycle can do distances in a day that would kill a horse, if you tried to make it do the same.