I went racing again today, and a lot of fun it was too. The thing is, I have a new bike. With very much help (thanks once again) from my colleagues at Sinner, my Mango was finished at 10 pm on Friday night, which is when I rode it home. This makes my Mango, the 202nd, the newest in the world at the moment (but not for long as we're making more next week).
Today's race was in Groningen. When I raced there last year on the PDQ, I averaged 34.2 km/h. With the Mango today on the same track for the same length of race, my average was 40.9 km/h. That's nearly a 20% improvement. In order to have pushed the PDQ to the same speed I'd have to produce 60% more energy, which would be impossible. The Mango's aerodynamics make that large a difference.
It rained for the trip to Groningen and back (but not during the race) and of course the rain cover kept the rain off me. It's 30 km between here and Groningen, and I was very glad to be out of the rain for that journey.
Earlier in the year, I was a little faster riding a borrowed Mango, but we'd fitted faster tyres which were slightly worn at the time of the race, which helps them roll a bit better. My Mango is perhaps a bit too new at the moment for maximum performance. It's still only done a little over 160 km in total.
And next week ? I'll be commuting in the Mango, rain or no rain. I found with the borrowed test Mango that it takes 20 minutes per day off my 60 km round trip commute.
I borrowed the photo above from Wilfred's blog. He's got a lot more photos of the event. Here is a video and a couple of photos taken during construction of my Mango:
Peter Haan riding his Mango with racing hood. He says it gives him about 10% more speed at 40km/h and above, which isn't quite enough to explain why he's so much quicker than me.
Harry Lieben and Marjon van de Kraats with their back to back tandem. Ymte Sijbrandij, standing on the left, won the race with an average speed of 53 km/h, and Wilfred Ketelaar who has his own Mango on order after taking a test ride.
Russell waits for Jolanda to finish racing.
You can find more posts on this blog about the Sinner Mango or take a look at the manufacturer's website.
Update 18th October: Wilfred also made a really nice video of the event:
The next year, I went back again.
There are more photos of the event here and a short video here. Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile written two years later.