Yesterday we went racing in Germany again. This time it was in Rutenbrock, which is 50 km from Assen. I rode the Mango there with Harry and rode back with Peter. I'd done 157 km at the end of the day, including racing. Harry started from 30 km further away and continued to his girlfriend's house 140 km further on so he'll have ridden over 250 km in total.
Alain Hinzen won both the single lap time trial with 46 km/h and the hour long criterium at over 43 km/h. Peter took sixth place in the time trial with 43 km/h, but due to a crash ended up just behind me in the hour race. Harry came in 18th in the hour long race at 37.3 km/h and I was 23rd at 36.5 km/h. I've ridden my commute faster than that ! These speeds are all a lot slower than last week's races.
Of course, there is a reason for the relative slowness. Different courses suit different people, and this one was especially tricky for velomobiles, there being many tight corners around the residential area where it was difficult to exceed 30 km/h, and where you could be slowed down a lot if there were many other people at the corner at the same time. It takes time to get the speed back up again.
There was also a 12 lap (3/4 hour) race for uprights on the same course, and while the fastest results were from recumbent riders, the uprights did very well too. I think the course suited bunched racing on lighter bikes quite well. Full results here.
Update 19th August. Harry made a video while racing:
Another video, showing Pjotr on a practice lap taking the corners faster than I dared, can be seen here, and another from Harry of his time trial lap is here.
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The less positive stuff What not to do if you want a cycling "revolution" - Long list of interventions and policies which are not helpful. Copy the best examples from the Netherlands - a short list summarising the above. Important to copy the best examples, not just anything "Dutch". Bear in mind that the Netherlands is not perfect. Shared Space - this much hyped idea simply does not work well. It disenfranchises the vulnerable and claims of safety are exaggerated. Don't confuse the concept with far more successful nearly car free streets. Shared Use Paths designed to be used by pedestrians and cyclists together. These rarely work well because the two user groups are too different and it leads to conflicts. They are not built in the Netherlands (but cycle access to pedestrianized zones is good). Strict (or presumed) liability - If you think this is an important part of why people cycle in the Netherlands then it is probably not what you think it is. Helmets - one of several ways of scaremongering about the supposed dangers of what is actually a very safe means of transport
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A cyclist in a cycling family living in the capital of the cycling province of the world's greatest cycling country.
I was born in the UK, lived for over 8 years in New Zealand and have lived in the Netherlands since 2007.
I organise cycling infrastructure study tours, run an online bicycle shop, arrange cycling holidays and write a popular blog about cycling.
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