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29 Sep 2011

Race Groningen 2011

I know people. And those people now other people. Most often we've all got something to do with recumbents. And that's why I was riding a Vendetta through Vries, 10km from home, at 11:30 in the morning, when I saw Q89 appear in my mirror. At that moment, I had 30km experience with this bike I get to borrow for a while.

The Q89 velonaut and me where on our way to Groningen to take part in a race, part of the Dutch Recumbent Competition. Besides us two, there where 23 others to race with/against. Rob was also there, together with Lee. It was good to hear that Rob also ordered an Evo-K. Now I know that I'm not the only one who thinks it's a fine VM. Even better is that he can compare it with his Q and Glyde experience. His will be ready in May 2012, mine within a few weeks. (next week would be very much appreciated)

The 1 mile long track is pretty smooth, except for the 2nd corner. Tree roots have damaged the asphalt in that corner and that's very unpleasant on a stiff and fast 'bent. It even slowed me down. But, even with this slower section in the track, I did quite well in the 45 minute criterium. With each lap I felt quicker. And together with Piet on his Rowing Bike, I had a fun race. Your faster when you've got someone to ride with. And that obviously contributed to a nice average of 41.8kph. In a field filled with velomobiles and tail faired low racers, I finished 16th. If you saw us finish, you'd say I'd classified as 17th. But my transponder was on my front fork, and Piet's transponder was on his rear fork...

The time trial over one lap started promising. Despite the lack of experience with the V, I started the lap with 55kph and took the first corner at 47. The rest of the lap felt alright too, but again, the bumpy 2nd corner cost time. That said, the bike is very nice when the road surface is smooth and the perfect drive train is very much noticeable. One lap of 1610 metre was ridden by me with an avg of just over 45kph.

The day in Groningen always ends with a relay race. Our team of 4 'youngsters' became 3th. Since I was the 1st to start, I had a chance to film some of the relay action.

The podium of the competition that consist out of this race and the one in Rütenbrock had a surprise for me, I was on it, in 3th position. At the end of the day, a group of 4 riders rode back to Assen. A Strada, a Quest, a Mango and me on the Vendetta. The Q still had another 45km or so to go after Assen. The weather was excellent all day and I had a good 1st ride on the V.

Robert made good photos.  Better than mine.

20 Sep 2011

Airforce days

Most of my blog post require quite some time to write. This one doesn't. Instead of writing down what I saw at this event, I simple post some visual content.
More photos can be found in a Picasa album.

Perhaps not very interesting for my international readers, but Dutch readers might be interested. I'm selling some parts that have been laying around un-used here. Check the ad here.

6 Sep 2011

Terra Cycle Sports idler

The drive train of me Pioneer: 3x8 dérailleur with Taxc pulleys and straight chain tubes. The best compromise between costs, efficiency and practicality on a RWD 'bent. Until about 700km ago, the idler was not what it should have been. I was unsure if I wanted a TC idler, and I hesitated about buying one. The plastic idler worked and, even the more affordable Sport idler would still cost me €50,- But having a decision hanging in the air for so long doesn't do me any good, so I ordered one from Icletta.

15 tooth aluminum cog on 8mm bearings, packed with local newspapers and an invoice hidden somewhere in the box too. Naturally, installing it was easy. The first ride revealed that it's not as quiet as a cheap plastic stock idler. But the soft sound it makes is a sound of quality. Like the Elite idlers, that I use on several other bikes, the Sport idler too gives a more direct feeling. The Elite is quieter, but costs 50% more. For a velomobile or a high end bike, it's the one to go with. For my good ol' Pioneer, the cheaper model is good enough.

It'll likely last really long, survive multiple chain and sprocket replacements. It'll just be there, doing it's job as a idler should. Hardly wearing out, not sucking up power or make my chain run awkward when plastic slowly wears out. I like, I recommend.