180 Days and Counting
by Robert Warren Hess
I’ve got just 180 days to get myself in shape for the world master track cycling championships in the fantastic velodrome in Manchester, England. I’ve visited and vacationed in England, but I’ve never raced there. So, needless to say, I’m excited.
I may not have mentioned my event, which is the 500 meter time trial. It’s a super simple event. You begin at a standstill (in a starting gate) and the timer counts down from 10. When he gets to 1, the buzzer sounds, the gate releases, and you accelerate at fast as you can for the next 500
meters, which is twice around the oval at the Manchester velodrome. The winning time in my age group last year was just under 39 second. My best time ever to date is 42 seconds, so I’ve got a lot of work to do!
So, It’s Just a Drag Race. Right?
Yup. That’s pretty much it. It’s all about power to weight, pedaling efficiency, wind resistance, and fitness. The seat height needs to be right so that you can generate the maximum amount of power and leg speed. Your handle bar height needs to be low to minimize wind resistance, but not so low as to restrict your breathing and oxygen intake. A rider on a bicycle is a system and any change in one area affects the other elements in the system.
The Guru Effect – I know It’s Going to Help
I’ve had bicycle fittings many time before, but they always have been “static” fittings where the rider dismounts as each adjustment is made and then remounts to see if the adjustment is correct. My long-time friend, cycling mentor, coach, and master mechanic, Les Welch, suggested I have a “dynamic” fit using the Guru Fit System. Going to Manchester is a big commitment in time and resources, so I said yes.
I had my Guru fit this afternoon and I was amazed. Click on the Slowtwitch Review image to the right for a full description of the system. Here are the stats from my fitting: rode 15 miles on the fit bike; tried four different saddles; tried about 20+ different fit/position combinations; hit a cadence of 167 (with just a bit of bouncing); and found a position that is much more efficient than the one I’m using now and it felt really good. I’m excited.
My experience summed up in one word: Amazing! You can contact Les at Green Lizard Cycling in Herndon, Virginia – Green Lizard Cycling. When you go for a fitting with Les, be prepared to spend some time.
Les will not only give you the best bicycle fit of your life, you’ll come away with a wealth of knowledge and a resource for any kind of bicycling knowledge you might need.
I have a new Serenity Marvel S frame coming that will have our new Prostate Cancer Awareness Project theme. Wait until you see it. We think it’s really cool.
The new frame will have 165mm Omnium cranks from SRAM and track pedals with straps coming from the Velodrome Shoppe in the UK and a Casco Speed time trial helmet when I can find one at a reasonable price.
That leaves just PRACTICE and training! Jonathan Fraley has been gracious enough to add me to his coaching program. All I need to do is to find the time to do the training. Stay tuned as I work my way down from 45.64 seconds for 500 meters to less than 40 seconds.
Question for This Post
Have you ever ridden on the track (velodrome)? Where was it?