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30 Jun 2011

My 2011 Cycle Vision (part 3)

The 3 hour race started with a short delay caused by a rider showing up too late. That gave me the time to re-attach my water sack. I was feeling better than on Saturday, but 3 hours of riding at quite some speed still didn't sound appealing. Anyway, I got going and settled for 39kph or so, riding the whole track in 5th gear.

That however was to hard to keep doing. After 3/4 of an hour, and my speed began to dip and variate. Not sure what to do, I rode behind Ellen for a while, than chased a faster group. That again was to fast (should have known that) and I dropped back again. Now Ellen was too fast for me and I was really on my own. The 2nd hour was a struggle. Not going any faster than 33 and having a hard time staying focused. Heinz gave me some draft for a couple of laps. The crowd kept cheering, that helped as well. At 1:50 hour, I stopped to stretch and walk a bit. Those 8 minutes was just what I needed. It further killed my average, but after that, I could keep up with Gerold at 40kph.

I saw Emmy at the start/finish straight. Wilfred was cheering after he'd swum across the pond in the middle of the track. In the last 15 minutes, I somewhat felt strong again. Now Gerold got to ride in my slipstream. The last 3 laps of the races where the fastest. I sprinted along with a small fast group for a lap. With 16 seconds on the clock, I crossed the line. That meant I had to do 2 more laps,instead of one. 17 seconds later, would have meant 3 hours + 1 lap, the rule for a this criterium.

3 hours was long enough. After finishing, I walked around a bit, like a duck because of my racy shoes. My carbon Thivasca went back North with the van Dijken family. I'd pick that up on Tuesday. A shower, an ice cream, talking with my parents who'd been volunteering this afternoon, and wandering around. Time to eat a meal I'd brought from home. It only needed heating up, tasted good and was nutritious. The instant tomato soup was very welcome on a hot day like this.

By now, most people had left the event. A group of less than 20 would leave a day later, making for a relaxed and entertaining evening. We had tea and hot chocolate. I could make water hot, Maaike had the other ingredients. More people joined in, including Fards, so we spoke English. Bas had a bag of chips, everybody had stories to tell.

Even though she'd been here all weekend, Maaike had not yet ridden on the 5km track. I said that, since we have access to the toilets, the track is also reachable for us, no extra fence to stop us. So, around 11, a small group had a late evening ride around the track, o so scenic. That was the 1st time I rode my Fuego since Friday. Again, like so many times before, it proved to be my favourite. Yes it's slower than Thivasca on a track like this, but it suits me so nice, handles like a charm and still goes pretty well ;-)

We chatted 'till 1 past midnight and looked at the stars. Satellites past side by side, plains came blinking towards Schiphol airport.

Monday morning, time to pack up and head for home. A weekend of CV and a trailer behind me slowed me down. I and 2 other Huneliggers took a scenic and slightly longer route home. It all had been a little too much for the legs. Still, it was amazing to see how relatively fast you can still go with a fast bike. And everything outside the racing had made this weekend into a success. That rainy Saturday is now almost forgotten.

260km on the Fuego, with trailer, 140 with bike on it.
180km or so on Thivasca.
both are clean again.
I now have 4 'bents against a wall in my room.
my photos on Picasa

29 Jun 2011

My Cycle Vision 2011 (part 2, Evo K)

Let the writing continue. After nearly a month without a new post, today you get 2!

Sunday morning, it's still wet. Not raining, but wet. It'll take 'till 11 for the track to dry. After breakfast, it's time for the first start of the day, the single fast lap. After Saturdays experience with the 200m, I decided to be there early. Let's not go in to what further happened. I did a reasonable lap, avg. 42kph, and they continued to do fast laps past 11. Wrong timing again... What the heck, I could now enjoy the weather and so on.

I checked out the Cruzbike Silvio. Nice machine, probably rides good too. It felt just as easy as my Q451. Sadly though, brakes and derailleurs weren't adjusted correctly. So I didn't have the chance to do a proper little test ride. (on the left, a Gaucho 28)

There was a second 'must ride' on my list, das Evo K. For that I had to speak German. I walked to Daniel's van and ask if he had a K available. There was one parked beside the building, but I needed shoes with Look pedal compatibility. He had a pair, his. With a big smile on my face I walked back to the K. People where frowning a bit when I rolled it to the 400m oval. I swapped shoes, climbed in, looked around and set of. Better said, I took of. First gear get's you up to 35kph effortless, but it's not too long. You reach that speed in an instant.

I was laughing out loud, this thing is wickedly fast! Two laps around the oval, doin' 40 as if it was nothing. The track obviously was to small for me. I manoeuvred to the long road in front of the main building. Steering felt good, responsive and stable, also at higher speeds. As soon as I had clear road in front of me, a second burst of acceleration followed. 50 was reached as if it has an electric assist. Since this was not my VM, and we knew each other for just a single kilometre, I decided that 52 was fast enough. That felt though, like I could maintain it for quite some time.

I coasted (noisy rear clickityclack freewheel), braked (no brake steer) and made a 1 point u-turn. It's turning radius is small enough. 'Panzerlenkung' is a good thing, this VM handles so nice. Again, I launched myself and the K for a run back to the main building, again reaching 50. With only a centimetre or so of suspension on the front, the last bit of bad road asked for a much, much lower pace. I brought the shoes back to Daniel and told him my experiences. This 3km did result in wanting a longer test ride, to see if it is any good on Dutch roads.

By now it was time to eat and prepare for the 3 hour race.

My Cycle Vision 2011..... (part 1)

.....Wasn't nearly as fast as the 2010 edition. There's a story behind that. You'll probably know that my right ankle had some problems. Because of that, I've been riding with a different pedal technique. Less ankling and less explosive. Than I had the 'not so brilliant' idea of going there with 2 bikes. My Fuego towing a Radical Cyclone trailer carrying all my camping stuff and my home built carbon TT 'bent. Both work fine, but together they form quite an anchor. Towing all this for a 135km or so, prior to a weekend of racing, is a dumb and silly thing to do.

Now where did that TT 'bent suddenly came from? Well, that's a project of me, ignited by fellow 'bentracer Thomas, over 2 years ago. The premiere of the story behind the bike is reserved for 'our' magazine, the Ligfiets&. Since the bike turned out to be a good one, she got a name, Thivasca.

After a 4 hour ride from work to the location for the individual 1 hour, I wasn't at my best. Not my best from what already wasn't a strong Pjotr. Marloes quickly handed me a transponder and 2 numbers 10 to stick onto my bike. It was my totally impracticable and utterly harsh racer that allowed me average nearly 36kph. Yes, she does what she's supposed to do, be fast. The CV2010 version of me would easily averaged 42+. Although that easy to just say in retrospect.

Back to the campsite, another 25km of towing everything minus 1kg. The front wheel of Thivasca travelled with the HPT-Delft team van. Together with David, Harry, Ilja and Yvonne I arrived at a dark, but scenic field in front of the race track, Flevonice. Tent and tarp where pitched, camp Peter was set up. One of the excellent features of this location was enjoyed around midnight, proper showers and toilets, available at any time. Never before have I experienced such luxury at a race weekend.

Saturday, let's not mention that day too much. It started with a wet 20 minute criterium. I qualified for the finale, but didn't feel like going into the cold and wet weather again. I missed the 200m flying. The origination aborted the event shortly after 4, but the program had promised me it would be from 2 'till 6. Funny though, this must have been the only thing that ended on time. Everything else had huge delays. That not such a bad thing. I've gotten used it. But this year, it went a bit out of hand.  Maybe I, with zero experience on organizing any event, could write a guide to help out the organization. I'll think about it.

It stayed wet all day. I did enjoy hanging around the exhibition and catching up with various people. The combination of a v-brake/disc brake lever with a road bike brake on various Optima bikes was one the awkward things I saw. The cup of tea from Radical gave some extra warmth. I also met Pat Franz. Not only does he design the best idlers, he also has a good memory. I met him once before, at CV2009, and the good man remembered my name. Speaking of idlers, Thivasca will get a TC idler too, before the next race.

The presentations given by HPT Delft where interesting. Their bike looks relatively big, but their data tells them it should be really fast. Anyway, it'll be fast. But if they'll beat Sam's 133kph record...

The rain continued to fall. I had dinner, showered, and crawled into my sleeping bag. The next day would completely different.