“Hey Tim, this year I want to do a 6hr, break my 2018 record. I’ll do that on the Saturday, first thing. Oh, and I’d like to do a 1hr the next day in the afternoon, try to beat my 2016 record. And, if we have time I’ll throw in a Flying200″….
I’m not sure what exactly sparked the interest into why I wanted to do both a 6hr and 1hr in the same weekend, hardly 24 hours apart. I’ve always liked doing epic things, mainly with training, but occasionally with performance days also. But I have always loved pushing new boundaries, getting stronger, and going faster.
This year I was probably less prepared for the 6hr than in 2018. In 2018 had been doing alot of bike specific training for it, I changed my eating to focus on specific performance – which yes I put on some weight, but I gained alot of watts! I have always love simulating the event prior to it – which in 2018 I went out on my bike 2 weeks prior to the 6hr attempt – and basically did it. I rode from 5am – 11am, practiced all of my nutrition perfectly, and held the wattage I had figured out I’d be able to maintain for 6hrs – which was 270watts.
This year was a little different. I’d been focusing on Endurance Triathlon – which meant a lot of training, but I only ride about 3 times per week. I’d been feeling pretty tired for February and March, but still training pretty well, and I raced a Half Ironman 6 days prior to the 6hr attempt, and I had a really off day. My biggest ride this year had only been 4hrs, and I’d only ridden a recumbent position about 5hrs in total for the past 6months (5 separate rides). I never really do any training in a recumbent and I was a little concerned, but I had nothing to lose.
The Day Before…
I got to the Geelong Velodrome around 3pm on Friday, just to sit in the bike and ride a few laps to make sure everything was good to go for Saturday morning. I was fairly comfortable, but my heels were clipping a bit on my return pedal stroke. We discussed raising it up, but in the end I made the call not to worry. “it’ll be right, I’ll manage”.. In the end Tim and Charles spaced the boom height up 3-5mm higher in the body later that night in the shed and it gave me the perfect amount of clearance that I didn’t even notice it the next day. Meanwhile, I had a relaxed evening and went to the pub for dinner and had a fantastic Parma and Chips! (Aussie)
The 6hr Attempt
I woke up at about 4:30am to get in some quality breakfast, and headed to the track. It was about a 40min drive, so it was a nice time to think and reflect on things, before everything got pretty hectic. I got a really pleasant message of support early on Saturday morning – which was a really nice gesture. I knew I was going to do well. We got into the venue pretty early, the sun was just rising and I was eager to get going as soon as possible. A warm day was forecast for the day, and it was important I maximised the cooler conditions in the morning. Unfortunately we had to make some very minor modifications and tweeking of the bike, so I wasn’t able to start until 8am.
I got changed, got my bottles and nutrition sorted to put in the bike ready. I carry all of my gels (10 SIS gels, 10 crampfix gels), 1 muesli bar if I feel like chewing something, I put in my 3 x 1L bottles with sports drink mix (these sit in pretty nicely and my arm rests on one of them) and I also carry my mobile phone with headphones and a walkie talkie for communication (we actually never ended up using the walkie talkies haha)
I did a few quick stretches to warm up, and jumped in (I had 6hrs to warm up, so I wasn’t going to waste energy there). I put on some nice music I like, and took off to get things started.
In my first 1hour, I didn’t feel fantastic. My legs felt a bit tight, like things were overloading a bit too much in my quads. I do have the ability to move slightly up or down to give my quads or hamstrings a rest – but after the 1hr mark, my body started feeling much better.
I was drinking 1L per 50min, and disgarding the bottle through the hatch door each time I finished. It gave me a little extra room in the cockpit, and it was also interesting to try and time dropping the bottles so they would go as close to the pit tent as possible (apparently I got pretty good at this)
I was messaging Tim with any communication I felt like receiving, it was all going very smoothly.
Hour 1 average – 66.07km. Hour 2 average – 67.48km. Hour 3 average – 66.04km average.
Perfect – I had averaged 66.60km/h at the 3hr mark – giving me a total of 199.676km and my 6hr goal was 400km. Time for 2 fresh bottles. I have to slow down to about 35km/h to get my bottles and then back up to speed, we I manage it fine.
But at this point – I had pushed into my body 3.5L of sports drink + 6 SIS gels, which was my nutrition plan. I knew my body could handle it, but I had a terrible headache for about 20mins. It was just too many carbs. I basically pushed in about 90gms of carbs per hour for the first 3hrs. I backed off the sports drink for a bit, and soon enough I started to fee better. Perfect!
I started to feel a bit of doubt in my mind, I wasn’t so sure it was achievable. Should I pull out early, save my legs for tomorrow? I had my Mum and 1 of my Sisters driving nearly 2hrs to come and watch, so I got my mobile and messaged them during it all. About the 3hr mark, I had told my sister I wasn’t feeling so confident. They were on their way, and I felt a bit of pressure, that I couldn’t have them turn up and that I’d pulled the pin on the record attempt. I just had to make it til they got here, so they could atleast see me ride a couple of laps.
They got at the 3.5hr mark, and I could see them watching. I simply knew that I wasn’t going to give up now. It would have to kill me for me to stop now.
At the hour 4 mark – I had travelled 266km, which was 66.5km/h average. Yep perfect still right on track for 400km! But it had really started to get warm, 30degrees outside – it was getting very warm in the bike. I believe it was well above 35degrees, nearly 40degrees.
I stayed strong, it took a lot from me from the 4hr to the 5hr – but I kept calm. By the end of the 5th hour I was still averaging 66km/h. Yipee! Although I was really starting to suffer..
We did an 2 extra bottle changes along the back straight. I have to slow down a lot for these, but Tim insisted I do so to get 2 bottles of water to help keep myself cool.
I was starting to overheat very badly, and in order to finish the 6hr, I knew I had to back off the pace.. My plan was to have some in the tank to push the last hour average up to about 68-69km/h – but it simply wasn’t the case. There goes the 400km achievement this year..
Over the final 90mins, I took about 9 crampfix gels as I was sensing cramps were going to happen due to the heat. I slowed down, and free wheeled for 20sec every 2 laps, to give my legs a break. I didn’t like this, but it was the only way. In the final 20mins, I thought I was going to fully cramp and not finish.
I held on and it was only on the very final lap that I cramped up and had to ride it with 1 leg.
I was so relieved, yet still not satisfied. I rode 383.7km in 6hrs – beating my 2018 record by about 8km. I know I have 400km in me one day!
I got pulled out of the bike, and couldn’t stand, so I did sit for about 5mins and chatted with the guys. I thought I had minor signs of heatstroke, but just gave my body 20-30mins of feeling very average to cooldown, and start getting in some protein and fluids. I didn’t have any appetite, but I made sure I ended up eating a fair bit of food later in the day, if I was going to be any chance to back up the next day…
1 record down… 2 to go….
It was early again Sunday morning, about 4:30am. I think I got a decent 5.5hrs of sleep in, and I surprisingly woke up feeling pretty decent (considering what I did the day before).
I didn’t have enough breakfast, so on the drive out to the track again, I stopped at McDonalds to grab a coffee, hashbrown and an egg & bacon roll – so good! (I don’t usually eat this sort of foods, but I needed processed foods that I could turn into energy easy and fast)
We had really good conditions early Sunday morning. The wind was calm, and Tim was just doing the prep on the bike to get it ready for a Flying200. Pump up tyres, final check of things. Meanwhile, I was floating about, feeling pretty happy with yesterday’s effort – anything from now on was just a big bonus!
All of a sudden Tim calls out to me “Kyle, 10mins”. Oh no! Here I am sipping on a coffee, just hanging out. Time to get dressed, and prep my mind for this F200!
I’d never done much sprinting before, I have really good power over 1-6hr, and although my genetic build kind of looks like I’d be decent at sprinting – I never do it.
Tim and the gang gave me a run down on how to do a good F200. I had it already worked out in my head how I’d go about it. The track is about 4.5km around, and the 200m timing trap is at the start/finish line. Conditions were really good – so I needed to do it as soon as possible.
I did a mini 5min warm up, jumped in the bike and slowly built up speed over the first lap. Boy oh boy were my legs not feeling fantastic! By the time I came past the start/finish on lap 1, I had built up to about 74-75km/h pretty easy, and my legs were feeling good now! By the first bend, I really started to build up my power. The power meter wasn’t working – but I suspect I was holding about 450watts, and along the back straight I had hit about 85-86km/h. Into the final bend, the bike picks up speed, and I had hit and passed 90km/h, really starting to crank it up! I probably went to about 550watts and about 20secs later, I saw 95km/h. I had about 45sec to go, but I didn’t have a ‘kick sprint’ in me to get anymore speed! So… I just held the speed and I managed to record a 94.5km/h F200 – Fastest ever in Australia!
I did about 20mins more riding, up at higher speeds, as a bit of a morning ride, it was really amazing to ride along at 80-90km/h and watch the sunrise.. magical!
I got out and Tim told me the F200 was legal wind, and we had ridden into a 4.5km/h headwind. Sweet! So with slightly better conditions, and not having ridden 6hrs the day before – I know I have 100km/h or faster in me in the Mini T!
It was time to chill out, get in some more fluids/nutrition and play the waiting game. There was a slight wind change due for anywhere between 3-5pm, so we rolled the dice and decided to wait. It also gave my legs a little bit more recovery time!
To be quite honest with you, I was feeling pretty tired by the time this attempt was due to start. I’d been hanging out in a paddock, under a gazebo at the track for 8hrs. Playing on my phone, watching some youtube, I was just getting a bit flat.
I jumped on the warmup bike and the guys took my request for songs to get me up and about. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Kickstart my Heart by Motley Crue. Sandstorm by Darude. It was time to get into it!!
I got in the bike, I had with me 500ml of sports drink and 3 SIS gels, which I planned to take at the 15min marks (15, 30 & 45).
I got started, and oh I went out so hard! What was I doing?? My first lap from standing start was a 4:18! Next lap was 3:26. Next, 3:23, 3:23, 3:23, 3:24 – this was simply incredible!
Going down the back straight I was only dropping to 81km/h and down the front, I was picking up to about 86-87km/h. This was such a powerful ride!!
I went totally by feel, and I knew the pace I was setting early, if I needed to pack off now and again in the 40-50min bracket, I could do so.
I told Tim and gang that I didn’t need any info in the first 15-20mins – then give me a board each lap with my average speed last lap, and my overall average. Wow…. I was overall averaging 80km/h, then 80.6, 81.1… This is amazing!!
I rode an absolute ride of a lifetime, considering what I had done the day before, and that morning also. I didn’t fade, my slowest lap was a 3:31, and I ended up averaging 81.63km/h…… HUGE!!!!
I was beyond happy and proud of my efforts over this Easter Weekend in 2019! I never thought I’d truly be able to pull it all off with so much success, but I honestly believe there are no limits.
I’d like to say, with absolute fresh legs and a total prep aiming for a 1hr record – I could push Mini T up to the 85km/h mark. Which I might go for in 2020.
I’ve been chatting with other guys around the world about making an attempt at breaking Fancesco Russo’s 1hr World Record of 92.439km in his 2 wheeler. I need to get my hands on a 2 wheeler, time developing skills to master it.
I know I can do it – so I’d love the opportunity! I think I have 95-96km/h for the 1hour mark – and I think it’s time I dedicate my life to it for a bit. For me, the 1hr is more impressive than a F200 at Battle Mountain, and I’m extremely excited about the future ahead.
To my team, my family and my friends.. Thankyou all so much for all of your support and love throughout this weekend! I wouldn’t be able to achieve these results without you all. Thank you!