''Hey Ken, we really enjoyed your blogs last year before you went to america for the land speed record attempt''
OK, OK i'll write some more this year.
It's currently 16 days until we fly to america, and only 14 days until the bike leaves. I think the bike will be turning left once it gets on the plane. The riders are not so lucky this year but we still can't wait to get out to battle mountain and tear it up!
Spending 11 hours sitting in a seat that i'm way too tall for is not something i'm looking forward to, especially as there are only 4 days between landing and racing this time around. However these are small challenges and the hard work and hard training i've been putting in all still count.
There are only two riders competing for the Arion2 team this year. Me, shooting for the men's record and Yasmin going after the women's. I'll miss having Dave Collins to ride with and bunk with, there won't be any bromance this year. Sad times. However things will be simpler between me and Yasmin as we're competing for different records.
The bike has some significant improvements this time around. It's front wheel drive instead of rear wheel drive. In theory it should be much easier to engineer an efficient transmission system when you don't have to run 4 metres of chain to the rear of the bike and back again. Sounds easy right?? (it isn't)
Spokes of Bagshot have supplied some awesome components for the bike yet again, so we have Shimano Di2 electronic gear shifting this time. Fingers crossed this means no triple shifting into insanely high gears at very inappropriate moments! Our fat thumbs got the better of us last year. It was also quite hard to change hand position without catching a big wobble, so this time round we can press to change gears without having to move hand position. Bonus!
I've spent a lot of time this year riding a very low slung low seated recumbent bike in training. I've also taught myself to ride it on rollers, something i'd never done before even on an ordinary bike. I've flown off the back of the rollers more times than I care to mention but I can now ride it one handed with confidence. I'm hoping this will set me up for riding the Arion2 with more stability and confidence.
Last year's record breaking run where I hit 75.03 mph only left me slightly breathless, it was by no means a maximal effort. This was mainly due to my lack of stability and confidence riding the Arion1 hard. Maybe this was due to lack of testing time, maybe rider ability, maybe first time nerves, who knows. Hopefully this year with more testing time available and a year's competition under our belts we can achieve a much higher speed!
Thanks for reading! there will be plenty more of these to come, so stay tuned :)