The Hour. Again.

Later this year I’ll be attempting to take back my NZ Hour Record from Jim McMurray, who took it off me in March 2016. I’ll also try to break the UCI Master 1 World Record.

I’ll be driving 8 hours there and 8 hours back a few more times. The drive sucks and its hard but if it was easy I guess every bastard would do it.

I’ll talk more about the details of training and changes to the bike and all that soon. In the meantime, heres something I wrote last year about my ride last August, where I took the NZ Record but failed to get the WR. It contains A LOT of swearing. I censored some. If you don’t like that then don’t read it. I think its important though if you want to know what its like internally doing this. Its pretty raw and reading it I still feel some of the sensations almost 1 year later.

I hope its interesting. Steve

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My Hour.

I’m just a dad, husband, fisherman, gardener, cycling coach and right now the holder of the Official New Zealand Hour Record. I’m not really in the cool kids group of high powered, naturally gifted, thin limbed rock stars of cycling, I drink slightly more gin than is socially acceptable and have a dangerous tendancy to support Donald Trump…

When I turned up to train at the Avantidrome for the first time in June last year, I’d never ridden on boards before. Ever. I figured out the system, drove 8 hours, and turned up with my bike I built up myself off AliExpress.. I got a look from the coach on duty…It said “who does this guy think he is…You can’t ride that…you haven’t got a chance

Minus 15 till + 15 Min. Bigger than Texas.

I felt like… “Take a look kids. I’m a f**cking racing cyclist guy. I have a special, fancy, carbon, aerodynamic bike. And all the f**ckng gear. And I am special and fast and strong. I have special drink to drink and a black skinsuit that costs $450. And a sweet helmet. And tyres that cost more than the ones on your car…I have Slayer in my ears…”

Then I feel like… I’ve warmed up on the rollers and I take out the ear buds and now I feel different. I’m just so thankful that all these people gave up their Saturdays – paid and unpaid – to be here to help me. They all ask, all want to know how I want it to go and how I feel, and I just want to thank them all and do well for them. I feel like I owe them. AggressiveSlayer Arsehole Steve is still in the pit of my stomach though. I want him there to help me when it gets hard…’cos I know it will. Yin and Yang.

“Can I try out the start gate?” “Yeah sure” Everyone’s watching – is this it? “Is he starting now?” I try to do a good start. I have no real idea what to do but I watched a shitload of Voight on Youtube so I try to do it like that. OK. Spin around 2 or 3 laps. Get the helmet from Nick. Everyone’s watching.

 OK, into the start gate again…Breathe. The clock beeps sound exactly like in the YouTube videos. I think they have top have the special Tissot one or whatever it is. I’m not scared. I’m 100% ready to unload.      

 

 

  1. GO. “Hold back… 450 watts in first lap… Hold the f**cking line… Getting faster… G force… Blurring… Cheering… Hold back… Into aero tuck at ¾ lap…wind noise in helmet…Hold back…settle in…330 watts…100rpm…settle in…blurring…holdthefuckingline… f*ck the blocks are close…holdthef*ckingline…Don’t hit the f*cking blocks…Heart rate 160bpm…330 watts…100rpm…holdthef*ckingline…cant see shit…was that an arrow?…breathing hard…f*ck was the arrow up or down?…settle in…how many laps was that? 5? 6? F*cking pay attention…OK settling…100RPM…163BPM…330W…sideways arrow…good… OK settle…calm down…330W…

Now we are moving. Now you are a bullet train. Go Steve Go. “Its now or never, and today its all or nothing…”Keep going.

30-45 Min. Drowning.

39 Minutes. I’m drowning. You cant stand, soft pedal, look around. If you lose 1 second, you’ve gotta make it up again. At 50 on the track that’s a bit like asking a soldier in a firefight if he wouldn’t mind looking after the kids for 5 minutes. It doesn’t sound like much but your hands are already kinda full.    

 The aero position is like being in a little cage for torture..like that,but pedalling at the redline…for an hour. Its psychologically damaging.

 Nick’s holding the pacing sign next to the track. A bit of cardboard with a fat black arrow. He holds the arrow up and means “go faster”. Arrow down means “slow down”. Arrow sideways means “keep doing that”. 0 – 15Min – Lots of down arrows. 15 – 30 Min Lots of sideways. Now the arrows are always Up – Up – Up – Up. “Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck” is all I can think. I’m sinking and drowning and choking and everyone’s watching. Despair.

43 Mins… cheering – they can see I’m falling back. “Stop f*cking cheering you bastards” I hate it. If I was going good I’d be loving the cheers. But right now it’s distracting and every time I’m thinking “Clap Clap for the Handicap’

45-60 Min. Failure & Despair. 

Trying to look up at scoreboard. Craning neck. Shouldn’t… That cost 1 sec. Not aero enough. There’s just no more to give. At the redline. Yeah I can go over the redline – sure. And I’ll be f*cked in about 20 seconds if I do. Just sit at the redline. Searing searing searing pain in legs. Searing pain in arms and back. Searing and searing and f*cking searing I‘m not allowed to take my hand off the element. 5 more f*cking minutes? Arrrgghhhhhhh shitshitshitshitshit. Grit teeth. Spittle all gel like. I want to dribble like a rabid stoned monkey so that everyone can see how hard I’m trying but theres not enough water in my spit. I just grit my teeth and grimace. LOOK!!! I’M F*CKING TRYING SOOOO F*CKING HARRDDDDDDDDD!!!

 NICK!!! I’m f*cking trying man!!! Rachel – LOOK. “I’m f*cking trying so f*cking hard” I promised that I’d leave it all out there. So I do.

 

I rode 47.697km. The World Record is 48.317km. 620m short. That’s 46 seconds. Worth. It’s about 2 and a half laps. About 15 Watts, about what a good skinsuit is worth.

I love the Hour because it’s so hard… And I hope my kids think I’m cool.

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