The first race of the 2003 season for the British Human Power Club was at one of the fastest tracks in the world,
Manchester velodrome. This is a fantastic indoor venue, featuring a 250m wooden track with 42.5 degree banking -
not for the faint hearted!
It was also the first time I had ridden Mango (short of a brief car park test) since Battle Mountain, so I was slightly
nervous. I did a few laps without the lid first - the launching gear worked a treat, and I was happily spinning round at
27mph, still in first gear. The stabilisers didn't work quite so well when I tried to use them for catching, worth finding
out before I put the lid on! With the lid on it was lovely - the extra trail helps the handling, and once wound up it would
sit on 40mph with very little effort. Nice. I didn't try to go any faster as the banking gets a bit scary, plus having not
trained for it, I couldn't develop much power in that position.
When it came to race time, I cruised round between 38 and 44mph, just ticking over. It was getting pretty hot in there -
the ventilation is still the minimum we used in Nevada, but the screen stayed clear and it was just a matter of sweating
lots! But it was great to last the 30 minutes; the longest I have ever spent in the bike, with no great discomfort, and that
without any conditioning for the position.
We got some good pictures though, and a cool QT movie, once I can figure out how to get that on the web......