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7 Oct 2010

Fun and warm race in Groningen

I left the autumn meeting early Sunday morning together with fellow 'bent rider Wendy. After a cup of coffee at my place we rode to the track. She by car, me with two other velonauts. Wim had parked has Quest at my place on Friday and had just arrived by train. David called and said he be going to race too. So, with a strong tailwind, two Mangos and one Quest easily averaged 33kph to arrive at the track well prepared for the race.

The asphalt in some places had seen better days, but most of the surface is smooth. You can see in the video where the trees cause instability at high speeds. Nothing serious, but a fresh layer of gravel and bituminous stuff would be a good idea. Thanks to the lovely weather the track was dry and grippy.

My Jenease already was ready to race. Other riders where swapping tyres and alike. I only had to remove unnecessary items. You don't need spare tyres, a pump and a battery whilst doing 50 on a track. And yes, I was doing 50 on the track. My fast lap had an average of 51.6kph. Reasonably fast indeed. H@rry, in his Mango Sport, (without the luxery, with a big experienced engine) did 53.7!  We where both riding with a head fairing. By far the fastest was Ymte is his unique personal Quest. His average of 60.4kph is simply astonishing. My time was good for a 5th place.

During the individual fast laps and the criterium there was time for the usual socializing. The atmosphere is relaxed and this is always the time to hear the latest news from our little close recumbent society.

My criterium started quite normal. I was the first velomobile to reach the first corner. Not long after that Ymte flew by and I overtook two 'naked' bikes. Problem was, that my mirror had come loose. It didn't show me what was going on behind me, it reflected tarmac. As I saw no other riders on the track no more, I started to get worried. Maybe something had gone wrong? Maybe the rest was still at the start? Non of that. I kept my 2nd position for almost three laps. It wasn't until then that the big guys had closed the gap I'd pulled with my lightning start :-)

When the fastest five had past me, I was on my own for most of the time. I was joined by Pieter for a few laps, but he isn't one of the strongest this season for no reason. Also Jan-Marcel tolled he'd been drafting me for a lap or so. However, our cornering is to different to cooperate. Didn't matter. I had fun in my Red Edition. Shifting, accelerating, touching the brake for the first corner. The heat made for a high, but stable, heart rate of 193. When the bell sounded for the final lap, I pushed a little more and it rose to 200. It all felt alright, strange enough. I will arrange extra ventilation for the next race on October 17.

I finished with a nice average of 46.5kph in 6th position. The day ended with a relay race. Handing over the transponder went good when did it, but it did go wrong between other team members. So even with our time being the fastest, we didn't get rewarded for that. It was a fun day, even without winning something. David and I rode at a relaxed pace of 30kph. A pleasant way of ending another fine day at the races.

My photos.
David's photos, with good shots of my Mango Jenease!
David's blog.
Race results.

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