Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Wind tunnels and time trials....

Monash Uni wind tunnel
Last Wednesday I was in the Monash Uni wind tunnel with Raoul Luescher for the afternoon searching for those small gains in aerodynamics.  We ran though a few position changes, a few helmets, and gathered some useful data.  An amazing experience being the object they're trying to optimise.  As soon as I got home it was out with the measuring tape, new TT bar ends, and the drill for some custom mods.  The result would be unleashed on the coming weekend.....
Northern Combine: Balliang ITT 24km July 31st 2010.

Out and back course on a long almost-straight road. The forecast all week was a head/side wind for the first half which would make the return leg fast. That all changed when we arrived. The wind was 30-40km/h and from the west, so we'd have a huge crosswind for the whole 24kms.  The big open paddocks and flat road meant there was nowhere to hide.  I'd been issued race number #1, and was off last chasing the wind tunnel expert, Raoul! A few late comers were assigned starts behind me, but it was Raoul I had to keep an eye on.  The outward leg was fast, so the wind had swung further around than expected. I was slowly gaining on Raoul but at 45-50km/h not much separated us.  The road started to slightly undulate a few kms before the turn, the higher sections of road being even more exposed to the crosswind.  The return leg proved a much tougher task trying to keep the bike in a straight line.  Every few pedal strokes there was a gust of wind or bump in the road that made getting into a rhythm difficult.  At around the 14km mark I passed both my one minute and three minute man at the same time (the two minute man was a DNS!).  The final few kms were super tough with a few short head wind sections, I caught my four minute man with about 5km to go.  The new TT position allows me to hide out of the wind, I'm finally happy with slicing a headwind - unlike at Phillip Island where I felt like a square block being pushed backwards.

A Grade Results:
1. Shane Miller   31:42
2. Raoul Luescher 33:23
3. Andy Naylor    34:32
4. Sam Lilley     36:40
5. Chris Hickey   36:47
*Dave Fairburn won B grade with a 34:26 (3rd overall).

Full Results

Blackburn CC/Bikes De Ver: Kew ITT 20km August 1st 2010.

A shocker weather forecast, dark clouds, rain.  Kew has some very fast bumpy corners that are dangerous in the dry, in the wet they're a nightmare.  Nobody was on the course with 45mins before the start time..... looked like it wasn't on?  I drove past the starters tent and got the thumbs up the event would still run.  Bugger!  I sat in the car for a while waiting for the rain to stop, about 20 minutes before the scheduled start time (which was 35 minutes before the actual start time) it stopped. Clear blue sky! The roads were still soaking wet so we had to tip-toe some sections. After a crappy warm-up sloshing around I was off, saddle cloth #4, so a few riders to chase at 30 second intervals.  My 30 second man was quick up the hills but I gained on him when the speed was over 45km/h.  Caught and passed him at 9.5km.  The whole TT was a bit of a blur - I just kept the power to the pedals and rode the same pacing as always on this course, losing a good 15 seconds or so by not being able to carry speed through the fast corners.  31:05, enough to claim TT win #2 for the weekend.  $20 entry, $25 for the win, $4 for a coffee...... that was a hard way to earn a dollar!

A GRADE (2 Laps)

1    4 MILLER, Shane          31:05.94     Hawthorn Cycling Club
2    5 DOVE, Liam             32:32.38     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
3    1 LEAPER, Tom            32:33.47     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
4    2 PARLEVLIET, Cameron    34:40.91     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
5   11 EMERSON VAN BEEK, Ree  36:08.16     Northcote Cycling Club Inc

Full Results

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