February 17, 2014/ Jim Parker
The first race worth mentioning is actually a series of races held on a track and velodrome: the 2014 HPRA Florida held 8 & 9 February.
Charlie Ollinger came in second overall on a Cruzbike Vendetta. Why is that noteworthy? Let me count the ways:
1) Charlie’s ridden the bike for less than 3 months.
2) Charlie is new to the FWD-MBB format.
3) He was competing against seasoned racers who were riding bikes they have ridden for years.
4) HPRA races are mostly short distance events (like 100 meter, 200 meter, 1 km, 1 mile), events that normally aren’t won by high racers.
Check out the race results for the STOCK recumbent races.
Mike Mowett is following Charlie in this photo. Mike was 1st place overall.
You can see Charlie’s speeds were amazing, despite some windy conditions on the first day of racing. We all know the Vendetta is a proven vehicle for winning in long distance and climbing races. Now it appears it can hold its own on track events, events requiring sudden acceleration, high top speed, and fast cornering. If Charlie can do this well after just a few months on the bike, there is no telling what he will do next.
The other noteworthy race was the 100 Mile race at Bike Sebring February 15, 2014. The fact that Maria won the event really isn’t noteworthy. We’ve come to expect that.
What makes the event noteworthy is that she ran two full disc wheels despite winds gusting 30 to 35 mph.
Maria has never raced with two full discs before and, quite honestly, we wouldn’t have run them if we had known how windy it was going to be. However, once the wind picked up, I offered to switch out her wheels and she declined. She said the DF riders she was with near the end of the race, when the wind was at its peak, were more affected by the gusts than she was… even though they had regular spoked wheels.
Below is the actual wind speeds. The 100 mile race is shaded in green. You can see sustained winds of 20 to 25 mph and gusts of 30 to 35 mph for approximately the last 90 minutes.
So why is this noteworthy? I think it emphasizes a point I’ve tried to make before… the Cruzbike FWD technology the Vendetta employs is really a new frontier that is not fully explored. We keep discovering new things about it. Perhaps the bike handled adequately despite the wind gusts because the front wheel is stabilized not just by the hands, like on a DF or RWD recumbent, but also by the legs, which act to hold the wheel in position. Maybe this will allow disc wheels to be used in a wider array of environments. Please exercise caution if you try this. Maria said some of the wind gusts were scary and moved the bike around the road,and the discs certainly will catch more force in a cross-wind.
I thought 2013, with the massive RAAM effort and ultimate comeback victory, was going to be the last noteworthy race for Cruzbike for a long tome to come. But here we are with 2014 barely started and we have two very interesting race results to contemplate. It’s going to be another interesting year for Cruzbike. Thanks for being a Cruzbike customer and following the exciting developments.