Let’s do this again!
What’s in a name? Take the term ‘aero’ for instance. For those of you who remember the Rowntree commercials, of perfectly formed chocolate bubbles rising deliciously, you’ll recall happy days. In cycling terms, the phrase ‘aero’ can throw up a lot more weightier elements.
With Alex Dowsett set to take on the celebrated ‘hour record’ before Sir Bradley Wiggins, the focus on bikes and aero efficiency is once again at the fore. Not all of us can gain exclusive access to a velodrome, but what is open to us all is time trial racing. Unlike, criterium ‘crit’ racing, it’s just you agains the clock. There’s no element of chance. No element of hiding. You are bare naked, in terms of racing, to the truth of time.
In the previous post fellow Baroudeur, Ash shares his insights on the power of wheels. The dramatic and encouraging difference of race ready wheels cannot be underestimated. Getting the right rims for the job doesn’t just change the feel, but ultimately the quality output on the road.
The Growl Out
In this sitting, we talk of a similar power, only that of Alex – ‘The Bear‘, and his formidable power transfer. A power output that results in a 6th place position in a field of 27 experienced riders on TT bikes. Only this Baroudeur chooses to ride his first time trial race on a road bike without any aero advantage, and prove it’s not all about the bike.
Chris earns second place and Alex gets sixth for the LBCC!
Since successfully racing crit for the past few years, the appeal of racing against the clock has gathered momentum. Recently, on a ride to Cambridge, we caught a team time trial and you couldn’t help but notice the elegance and determination needed. There’s the knowing of time, accompanied by the ghost like opponents all chasing the clock.
Aero like 1989
It’s no surprise that being aero offers a formidable advantage. The images of Greg Lemond’s victory over Laurent Fignon is described as the ‘Greatest Tour de France Finish ever’. After leading Lemond in minutes over 3,260KM, it came to 25KM and 8 seconds. That’s what a bike, a set of wheels, and an aero helmet can do, but what of the harvesting what’s in the heart?
For some time now, a few of us have been introduced to the Watt Bike. A stationary training bike that measures your output and helps you train the most efficient way possible. No one in the club has used this to such an extent as Alex, and accompanying this with his riding regime has proved a game changer.
If you’ve gone out with Alex, you’ll know that this is more than just about getting results or mixing up your riding. You’ll know that throughout the ride this is about having a great time. Alex is one of the most encouraging people I’ve ever had the honour to know and call a friend. It just happens he’s also an incredible cyclist. This is a big ‘growl out’ to you mate, and a terrific season ahead!
For the rest of us, we may have to get those aero bars and set up right. Be prepared to look like a rock star; here’s how:
Start looking like Michael Hutchinson
If you’re wondering how Alex will be setting up his TT bike, here’s some exclusive shots of his new ride:
If you’d like to know more about racing and even meet The Bear get in contact with the London Baroudeurs.