I was looking forward to a few weeks without cycling. Running, hiking, maybe a little MTB. But then Paul’s email came with the idea of participating in the virtual WTTC (World Time Trail Championships).
The decision was made quickly. Even if I wasn’t quite clear how it was supposed to work. How do you ensure that the performance of the participants is comparable? What equipment is needed and how complicated is it in the end?
Actually, everything is very simple. You need a bike and a so-called trainer (role). It doesn’t matter whether it is smart or not. The main thing is that you can use this trainer or the bike to record performance data. These are forwarded to a server via an app. From this, the calculates the driven speed taking into account the weight of the driver.
This is the speed at which you virtually drive a real filmed route. The speed at which the video is played adapts to the calculated, virtual, speed of the driver. Everyone rides the same bike. Only the weight makes the difference. The heavier you are, the slower the uphill speed with the same performance. With a smart trainer, the resistance increases automatically when it goes uphill. In order to drive at the same speed as on the flat, you have to pedal harder, more power is required. Without a Smart Trainer, the performance remains the same, which means that the speed is mathematically reduced. This is calculated by the server and the app. In the coming days I will explain in more detail how to ensure that nobody messes up. So everything is easy, isn’t it :-)?
The actual setup is also available. Around 50m Ethernet cable, several cable drums, a WLAN access point, a switch, three laptops in addition to smartphones and tablets, some fans and towels and a webcam. A test on the terrace will take place soon. So much for the hardware side in addition to the smart trainer and bike. The meals during the 12 hours must of course also be well planned. We hope for one or two helpers who will support us so that we don’t have to get off our bike every time to get a coffee or if you feel like doing something in particular. This is a big difference to an outdoor cycling marathon, where you mainly eat muesli bars, energy drinks and special products.
We have received the green light from the health department to be able to drive together on Paul’s covered, large terrace “together” with a minimum distance. Thanks Paul for creating the concept and coordinating with the health department. Of course, other rules may still apply in December. Then we reschedule. If there is no other way, we will take part individually from home. Keep your fingers crossed that it won’t happen!
I started training again, even if the darkness makes it impossible to drive long distances. Well possible, but it’s mentally exhausting and sometimes dangerous. Since we are in a kind of lockdown again, the volume of traffic outside of rush hour traffic is significantly lower. This helps. I won’t be able to achieve top form in the three remaining weeks. It’s more about participating in such a crazy thing and hopefully being able to collect donations for Malabon again. I hope for a few dry weekends so that I can train a little longer on Saturdays and Sundays.