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29 Jun 2011

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. 


  1. The new bike looks excellent, and from what you've said about it, it obviously is quick so long as you're feeling up to it.

    A long ride on the day of the first race didn't help me either, but Harry still seemed fast !

    It was very annoying finding that we'd missed the 200 m sprint because it had finished earlier than scheduled. That was the only event I was interested in taking part in on that wet day. I slipped a bit on the way home on Sunday, which re-enforced my view that racing on the Avocet tyres around the Flevonice track would have been a bad idea.

  2. The HPV delft bike looks good in the pictures. But I would take their 'data' with a pinch of salt. The blueyonder team used loads of fancy computer stuff and data but the bike ended up rubbish. The proof of the pudding will be when it's ridden at BM.

  3. Lee's right that we have to wait and see. The Blueyonder project was a real fiasco, as I remember an esteemed bicycle designer of our acquaintance telling us at the time. Their bike was built only with input from motor sports people and turned out extremely large. On the other hand, the HPT Delft bike has input from people who actually ride bikes, and notwithstanding what Peter said about size, it's not quite _that_ big. I think they've a better chance (video here in English).

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  5. It just that the Varnas are so tiny, which is one of the reasons they're so fast. Dutch riders won't fit in. Also the Cygnus team has it's own approach.