Oct 19

Oct 19, 2005

Oh, what a day!!!

This one definitely goes down as a day I will never, ever forget.

It started at 6:00 am when the phone rang and it was the CHQR radio morning show. They wanted a live on-air interview which I granted them. Then 15 minutes later it was another local radio morning show wanting the same thing. As the day progressed, so did the media attention.

Why? Well, I guess it's time to let the cat out of the bag, so here was the press release that my awe-inspiring PR wizard Neil Bousquet sent out the previous day on my behalf:

The 24 press release

24 hour HPV record

That pretty much says it all. I had been avoiding releasing anything about what my true intentions were regarding the new streamliner CP1 until I knew for certain that I could make an honest attempt at the existing record. Also, it isn't recommended to publicize your intentions too early, as it could generate some unwanted competitive interest.

I suppose another reason I might want to avoid any kind of prior publicity is in case I fail, but I am not afraid of failing. We learn by failing and in this case, it is a very real possibility.

The 24 hour human powered distance record of 1021.36 kilometers was set in 1995 by Axel Fehlau in Cologne, Germany on an M5 Carbone (that could be the M5#8 fairing - not sure). Details of that record attempt and some early ideas on how I was going to set a new one is in an old password protected update:


I had password protected all of the updates that appeared with an appended (p) because they all directly dealt with the record attempt. I just removed the password protection, so those pages are now available.

All of the updates are here: http://www.adventuresofgreg.com/HPVMain.html

I believe that setting a new record for the 24 is within my capabilities, but by NO MEANS do I think it is going to be easy! When you do the math, you discover that an averagely decent streamliner with a CdA of .5 can go farther than 1021 km in 24 hour on a mere 114 watts of power. But what you don't realize is that it is nearly impossible to maintain 114 watts steady for an ENTIRE 24 hour period. When you stop peddling, your watt average declines dramatically! Taking short breaks here and there would mean that you really need to average 130 to 140 watts, just in order to end up with an average of 114 !!

And if you think a 24 hour average of 140 watts is easy, then you probably haven't tried to maintain that average over a 12 hour period - not to even mention 24 !!! And further, add to the fact that you are cooped up in a tight fitting carbon fiber shell looking through a thin piece of scratched up pop bottle plastic - well, you get the idea. Maintaining high watts during a 24 HPV event in a streamliner is very difficult for many, many reasons.

10 hour practice run at Glenmore

I had scheduled a big dry-run day at the Glenmore track on Tuesday, Oct 18th to get a feel for being cramped up in this human powered missile for hours on end, and more importantly, a good opportunity to thoroughly test out the vehicle, my hydration and nutrition plan as well as support from my crew.

And what a day it was!

I would like to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone who came out to support me yesterday. What a huge success! I felt like a fish in an aquarium - actually no, more like a fish in a fish bowl. Looking out at everyone looking in at me, and wondering what was going on. I can't tell you how great it was to see all of you there and speak with some of you on the two-way radio. It went a long way in taking my mind off the monotony of going around and around and around.

Special thanks to my wife Helen who was by my side for almost the entire day, Ben Eadie and John Mackay who stayed to help for most of the day and huge thanks to Dev the manager of the park who was especially helpful. He had a staff member at our disposal all day long and even swept and dried the track for us before we arrived. Thanks to my sister Carol who brought chairs, a table, coffee and donuts. Others I wish to thank for their support on Tuesday are Bill Bakke (an Olympian ski jumper and local Randonneur), my buddie Greg Bradley who tried to race me with his triathlon bike on the track (and lost, of course), Jennifer Armand who shot some of the great photos shown on this page, my bro Alan who made the logo for CP1, my other sister Theresa, Helens mom and dad, my buddies Gary, Cyrille, Tom and Murray, fellow local recumbent enthusiast Greg Nuspel who kept my brain occupied for quite a while as we discussed recumbent bikes and velomobiles by two-way radio, Annie (my hero and Cancer survivor) and her husband Roy Elliot.

Some of the media that showed up to cover the event were:

1. The Global TV noon show who did an interview AND their noon hour broadcast from the side of the track!!!
2. Shaw TV interview
6. Global evening news
7. Radio interview on the Breeze
8. Radio interview on CHQR
9. Radio interview on Don, Joanne and the Coach
10. Telephone interview by Dose magazine
11. Radio interview with Q107
12. Calgary Sun (page 2!)
13. Calgary Herald
14. Goodnews video

And various other photographers and reporters who showed throughout the day who I only saw from inside my little canopy bubble.


Because the track is so short (400 meters) and even with the inefficient draggy rubber surface, I was unable to maintain my goal intensity of about 140 to 160 watts because speeds up near 40 kph were a bit of work to manage on those tight corners. I ended up averaging 104 watts of power, 32.4 kph, 109 bpm heart rate and traveled 281 km over 8 hours, 43 minutes of actual riding time. The total time was 10:45 hours, but there were many stops for interviews, etc.

If I take that power output and apply it to the efficient paved, long and straight track in Alabama, I would have covered a total of 628 miles in 24 hours with a 15 minute break every 3 hours. The 24 hour record is 634 miles, but again, the power output from yesterday was much less than my potential, so I still think setting a new record in Alabama is something we (CP1 and myself) are capable of.

CP1 performed flawlessly. I need to examine it carefully now for any signs of stress, but I think she's good and warmed up now for a REAL ride! The fairing which was CFD designed by Ben Eadie also performed exactly as per our design specs with a CdA of .3 sq ft, so big props to Ben!

As far as being ready for a record attempt in Alabama goes, there are still a few things that need be completed / issues resolved:

1. Ben is working on a new fairing mold which will be super glossy, smooth and more aerodynamic. I expect to be able to pull new shells off the mold early next week.

2. I need to build a break into the frame to split it into two pieces for shipping. My plan is to pack the frame into two bike boxes and roll the fairing shells up into another case. That way, I can fly with the CP1.

3. Lighting at night is still an issue. The track was fairly well lit-up by street lights in the area and was not a fair comparison to the darkness of a 3 km long road cut out of the forest in Alabama. I found that the glow stick markers we used yesterday work, but in order for me to maintain a decent power output and speed, I needed much better lighting. I am looking into renting some portable over head lights for the track.

Here are some photos of the day from Jennifer Armand and Ben Eadie (click for larger):

My interview with Tish from Global news noon show

I wasn't this happy during my 8th hour of doing circles!

Ben and the camera man from Global

CP1 rounding the corner at 40 kph. I can see by the photo that I really do need to smoothen out that rear wheel dome.

My interview with Shaw TV. They did it twice actually. The first time without video tape in the camera. They came back an hour later and repeated everything.

Greg B and me racing (you can see the nose of CP1 just behind Greg)

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