One Year Time Trial (again)

Looks like Steve Abraham is at it again. After having to abandon his first attempt when taken out by an inattentive moped rider, then  cutting his second attempt short, he is once more hitting the road for a third time in an attempt to break the Year Record. In his usual subdued and understated fashion he’s taking to those less than ideal English roads at midnight on the 4th of March to begin his attempt.

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He’s going to have a tougher slog this time around. Last time he was chasing Tommy Goodwin’s 1939 record of 75,065 miles, but since then the record has been pushed even further. Kurt Searvogel pedalled his way to 76,076 miles! Only a few miles more but still. More.

amanda-cokerThen there’s Amanda Coker! She is cycling circles (quite literally) around the rest to destroy the women’s record and may even go further than the Kurt.

She surpassed the women’s Year Record in only four months and is currently averaging 220 miles per day – a higher daily rate than Searvogel! It does help she’s picked to do it almost entirely on a pan flat circuit flanked by other strong club cyclists for a helping wheel to draft. Nothing wrong with that of course, it’s that’s the way I’d choose to do it if I were mad enough. I wouldn’t bet against her cruising past the 80,000 mile mark.

Good luck to Steve of course, he’s hard as nails and knows how to suffer while covering crazy distances. I just hope he avoids those pesky mopeds.

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Stealthy Bike P**n

Just a bit of weekend bike porn for you. :-) I’ve had my Planet X Stealth for a couple of years now without many changes except for the wheels. They were a bit of a “you only live once” purchase while I was working for Sigma Sport. Those Roval CL60 carbon deep section babies really hum along! Now I’ve just got to get back to fighting fitness so I can do this bike some justice over the summer months.

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#ridelots

A week of falling TT records

It’s been a month of falling records on the UK TT scene! First up the men’s 10-mile record was obliterated by Marcin Bialoblocki who clocked a mind blowing time of 16:35 averaging over 36mph to do so. He crushed the old record of 17:20 set by Alex Dowsett and is now the only man ever to go under the 17 minute barrier!

csasspzwyaa74leMarcin Bialoblocki looking 100% aero on his record breaking ride.

James Gullen of Pedal Heaven also went under Dowsett’s old record with a time of 17:09 an incredible ride overshadowed by Marcin’s superhuman effort.

Then a few days later the women’s 10-mile record was also smashed (again). This time Hayley Simmonds took the record back from Anna Turvey, posting a time of 18 minutes 36 seconds to become the only woman ever to have gone under 19 minutes!

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Reunited with my TT bike!

After three months at sea packed up lovingly in a cardboard box inside a shipping container, my Planet X Stealth time trial bike has finally arrived safe and sound to me in Tasmania! Oh how I’ve been waiting! I put it back together last night, adjusted everything millimetre perfect and then spent an unhealthy amount of time admiring all that beautiful carbon fibre.

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I took it for it’s inaugural Australian spin earlier today. It was great to finally get back down into that TT tuck and purr along the blacktop upon that carbon frame and 60mm deep carbon wheels! I even searched out a few flat roads around Hobart Airport to get those wheels humming.

The legs could do with some work after too much time off, but the smile factor of the ride was certainly off the chart. #happydays

Finally out on the speed machine!

After a foggy start to Saturday morning, the sun cleared the air and made way for a bright and calm afternoon. Earlier in the week we’d had a decent downpour to wash most of the salt and crud from the roads so everything was falling into place.

The time trial bike had been staring at me from the corner of the room just tempting me to get out for a blast. Today had to be that day! Sure it was still chilly (long sleeve base layer plus long sleeve jersey) but it was looking like the best weekend of the year.

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After a short warm-up spin I could feel the build-up of fatigue from my commute miles in my legs, but I threw in a sneaky loop around a local ten mile TT course anyway (averaging north of 22mph, forgot how much that can hurt) before aimlessly cruising some familiar roads, just enjoying a rare afternoon of English sunshine!

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Once I’d run out of water I circled home, finishing with a little over 50 miles and an average of 19.6mph. A quality first outing of the year on the Stealth! Life is good and I can’t wait to push harder on fresh legs! #keepcycling

Getting more aero! #freespeed

As the weather was rubbish today and I’d already logged 175 miles this week I decided to have a closer look at my position on the time trial bike. For various reasons I only got in a handful of rides on it last year so I’m hoping I can find some form in 2016 as I really enjoy riding the Stealth. I knew my current position wasn’t great so there was always going to be room for improvement.

I got a new helmet too so I needed to see how that fit. It’s a medium tail MET Drone Wide Body, as used by MTN Qhubeka last season (see image above). With the help of my turbo and some iPhone video I got tinkering…

Here’s my starting position, the same measurements as last year:
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And here’s where I ended up after a bit of tweaking:
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It feels comfortable and looks a lot more aero. Notice how the tail of the helmet sits flush into my back. Of course getting really aero is only part of the equation as I need to see if I can still ride comfortably and put out some power in this position! Here’s the two photos in a side-by-side comparison:

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I’m still not 100% happy with saddle choice – something to look at – and I could really do with a Sigma Sport SanRemo 2.0 Speedsuit to complete the package! ;-) Once the weather improves I will go for a proper spin around my local testing roads and do a bit more fine tuning. #aeroiseverything