Nov 25, 2005
HPV 24 hour distance record attempt
What a day!!!
Wow - I'm still recovering. An experience of a lifetime.
I'll file a better report when I get back to Calgary, but for now here is how it all went down:
Our 4 day / 4000 km drive to Opelika, Alabama was apparently a good incubation environment for the virus that attacked my lungs and throat on race day. I haven't been sick in over a year, and this one was a wicked chest cold!
On Thursday we had the track to test out the streamliner, run some tests and set up the timing equipment, etc. It was prety windy and I couldn't get CriticalPower up to the speed I needed. That, combined with my 5 hours sleep the previous night due to caughing my lungs out, was the reason I sat my crew down and told them that I would give it my best try, but that anything even close to a record was just not going to happen. Everyone agreed that we should all give it a go nevertheless.
Friday was fairly cold, but the winds were down substantially in the morning. I figured that I would try as hard as I could to maintain record speed for as long as possible, and that's how my first hour went. Then it just continued on for 18 hours!!
I would pull in for pit stops and Rob Hitchcock (HPVA official) would tell me that I was at record pace and I didn't believe him!
Then I started having some problems. There were three chain derailments which each caused a crash. By the time my crew realized I wasn't passing the timing strips on time and found me somewhere on the 2.72 km track, many precious minutes had passed by. These costly stops added up, and by hour 22 I was off record pace. Then the remote steering push rod weld broke and I crashed - race over. The weld broke due to all of the left side crashes which land directly on the swing arm.
304 laps * the estimated lap distance of 2.725 km = 828.4 km in 20 hours, 22 minutes.
If not for the enthusiasm, support and encouragment from my crew: Rob Hitchcock (HPVA), Ben Eadie, my wife Helen, Bob "maximus" Atkins (HPVA), Buzz Powell, this amazing day would not have happened. I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart!!
If you asked me last night if I wanted to try it again, I would have said no-way! But time has this way of eracing the unpleasant memories and replacing them with the happy details. Just this morning I was pondering ways of improving CritialPower...
To receive these daily reports by email, click here.
Click here to go to the HOME PAGE