W hen we were traveling back from London after last year’s BWC Finals, there was time aplenty to contemplate. I was pretty chuffed with my 75th place in the overall ranking, but what’s more, I seriously believed that if the odds were with me, I should be able to do better. A spot amongst the best 50 riders maybe?
But first things first, I’ll be racing this years Brompton World Championship Final in London for the second year in a row. And this year, I’ll be joined by the three lovely people that came to watch me last year. #TeamSmallWheels represent!
Looking back at last years race, there was definitely a margin for improvement when it comes to the following points:
- The start:
The dash towards my bike was on point, no worries there. I might have unfolded my bike rather swiftly, but if I were to upgrade the clamps and handles, I might just knock of a couple of seconds. I also struggled to get my feet in the pedal cages. Let’s say pedal cages are okay for touring, when you have all the time in the world, but you won’t see me using them again in a competition. My advice here is to go for the standard platform pedals or clipless pedals. Or a mix of both, but more on that in an upcoming post.
- Avoiding technical mishaps:
Well, not really a technical mishap, but rather a case of sheer stupidity on my behalf. Instead of degreasing the seat post I managed to oil it, causing it to slide down a couple of times. Confirmed by my friends, it looks really silly. So long story short, you want your bike to be in perfect shape, and oiled and greased in all the right places.
- Choosing the right tires:
I considered changing my Schwalbe Marathon tires for Schwalbe Kojak but in the end couldn’t really be bothered. I know it’s probably all about marginal gains, but if ‘you’re in it to win it’, you might as well have your bike fitted with the best possible tires for the job. So Schwalbe Kojak tires are the way to go. And for the love of the almighty racer in the sky, you better make sure to inflate your tires properly.
- The bike itself:
The BWC 16 final might have been the trigger to buy Billy the Brompton, some compromises (such as gearing, rear rack and mudguards) were made upon purchase. Now I love that bike, make no mistake about it, but an M6R isn’t exactly the ideal racehorse. Since we were already considering the purchase of a second Brompton for our household, it was only a matter of time before I wheeled one that was better fit for racing out of our local bike shop.
* Main picture taken at BWC Vienna in October. And yes, that’s me beating the pack in the mad dash towards the bikes.