Tuesday, 7 July 2009
I returned yesterday from Cyclevision / Human Power World Championships in Tilburg. It was an excellent event, including racing, a trade show, lectures on various topics and of course lots of socialising.
The full race results reveal that Stephen Slade from the UK retained his Men's World Champion title this year, and that Barbara Buatois is the current Women's World Champion. Well done to both of them, and of course to all the other competitors. The people of Tilburg were great too. We raced on closed roads, and no doubt caused some inconvenience, but the people turned out to cheer us on and many volunteers helped with the organisation.
1 hour time trial video. I'm in this video briefly at 1:43, wearing a blue helmet and riding the white velomobile. As I enter the picture I only have two wheels on the ground, this being a problem with the corners on the course.
There's a similar still here.
Compared with my own efforts, the winners were very fast indeed. My 39.6 km covered in an hour put me in 57th place of 157 competitors in the 1 hour time trial.
The four hour race course had some really nasty tight corners for those of us riding velomobiles. With such a machine you really want to keep your speed up, as these practical fully equipped every day / all weather use designs are inevitably heavier than the stripped down and comparatively fragile racing specific machines that we were competing with. Nevertheless, velomobile riders did very well in the race. If you watch the video you'll see that Steve Slade came unstuck on his two wheeler too.
My own attempt at the four hour race was unfortunately marred by a slow puncture which I failed to notice due to my inexperience in the Mango, and not realising there was a puncture due to the suspension masking the feeling. The puncture caused my speed to start dropping from about an hour in. I initially tried to pedal harder to compensate, drink more and eat more, as I thought it was simply exhaustion. This, of course, simply made myself yet more exhausted. It's strange how the mind works in such a situation. Eventually the tyre was flat enough that people could see the problem and started shouting to me about it. I stopped and was helped to fit a new tube and restart. Suddenly my speed was back again and I kept up just about a 35 km/h average for the last hour. This resulted in my covering only about 122 km in the four hours. Mind you, a few years back I wouldn't have thought that to be a bad average speed.
A great event, made more enjoyable by the company of Harry and Marjon with whom I went, and also by all the BHPC people I met again.
There are more videos and pictures elsewhere.
One of the best videos from youtube of this event is here. I appear at 2:16 and 4:20. Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile.