When I started to speak with friends earlier in the year about the British Master’s Women’s Hour record; after the mockery and red wine fuelled scoffing, delivered in the way that only a bunch of base jumpers and mountain bikers can had died down a bit the remaining question “ why hasn’t it been done ” hung in the air like the stench of following Johnny into the bathroom.
Setting a record is easy on paper and the flow chart to rocking it could be followed by a five year old, however the more I get into it the more expensive it gets and the more creative I have to become.
The cheap parts of the preparation are things like the British Cycling track accreditation and for me it’s money well spent, even if my body falls apart before I get to doing The Hour the accreditation process gives a rider so many skills £37 including bike hire for each of the four parts is a bargain and you have the joy of riding an Olympic track where so many wonderful things have happened.
The coaching, while I’ve not paid Rowe & King yet it’s still my intention to use them to get me into shape and if you think about what that team have achieved personally I really don’t think I have another option that would give me so much return on investment. As long as I stick to the plan that they come up with I’m sure I’ll perform to my best.
Nutrition wise I’ve given up on recovery products and buying sports related performance bars, goop and powders deciding instead to invest in cycling specific cooking books and The Feed Zone Cookbook is my firm favourite, that’s not to say that products made by Science in Sport don’t work, they do and they’ve fuelled me through many rides this year but it’s all about keeping the costs in check.
The track hire, staffing and timing for the event has been quoted at £2000 but I should budget for £4000 add to that track hire for training and things start to balloon just a little but enough to make you think twice.
If that wasn’t enough to put you off, and even though I know that my main point of resistance is airflow there’s the bike itself. I have two approaches in this regard. Option one is the Specialized Shiv, it would seem stupid to ignore all the work that Specialized invested in airflow, wheels and tyres research for Evie Stevens effort in not just setting the world record but just missing out on the best human effort time, however the romantic in me would love to do it on a Boardman.
Problem is that the UCI has those pesky geometry rules around ratios and the Specialized Shiv with its almost 5:1 ratio is more than a little outside the requirements of 3:1. Specialized does make a Shiv that conforms but the frameset price is enough to make me quit but I’m hoping that I can solve that problem while I’m in training. It is a beautiful frame, it’s used in the peloton, it’s race proven and the development costs alone must have been massive so it’s not as though I don’t understand the cost. But after the frame there’s the wheels which again run into thousands and then everything else that you need to attach to a frame to make it into a bike. Costing wise I may get change out of £10000.
Training wise I don’t see why I can’t replicate the position on a road bike with clip-on bars and a hotswap TT saddle with seat post, in fact while I’m recovering from surgery that’s exactly what I’ll be doing in my living room on my turbo trainer. If there’s one thing I’ve learned while revving up for this it’s that my body need to adapt to that TT position and my road, non TT trained body is struggling and will struggle post operatively .
To answer the question though, given this is the Old Lady Hour and generally people at my age have jobs and mortgages and kids and we’re living in a time where people are floating on a bed of personal debt I know that the reason is fully down to cost.