Part 1 is here
text: America, State of Nevada
To chase the dream of ultimate speed, people build bikes and gather here from all over the world to try to go faster than 140 kph on A BICYCLE!
Competitors come from all over the world.
By coming here, our team is learning a lot
Jan Marcel: We want to show people all over the world what we can accomplish with human power. (text on left says Holland Team)
Into this setting that tests technical skill comes a team from Japan for the first time.
Last December, the team was recruited. The motorbike people didn’t know when they were recruited for the project that this was about bicycles.
Text: this past March (a brief recap of the race against Team Cygnus)
they won! (speed of 93.69 kph)
After that, they started to design a new bike to go after the world record.
They showed up to the WHPSC, but they had some difficulties and were not able to race the first day [text: accident]
A brief montage of fiddling with the bike, then an image of the rain on Tuesday that cost them another day.
Finally they got to run, but their starts were a disaster.
Ikegami: at this point we’re not doing very well are we?
Only two days left!!
Stay tuned to find out what happens next
(Introduction of the talent) Hi everyone, we’ve come all the way to America to take in this event.
Fifteen teams from 9 different counties.
and believe it or not, those things that you see are bicycles.When you first see them you think “What the hell are those!”
Explaining that speed bikes have a bike inside a cowl (fairing) [flashback to Velox 1]
The fairing reduced drag. The air moves smoothly past the bike, which is what you need if you want to go faster than 100 kph.
showing off the new bike.
4th day of competition
Team Japan managed to g0 118.38 kph….but the wind was above the legal limit of 1.67 m/s.
- Canada A
- Holland A
- Canada B
Brief bio of rider Komori, who after high school started racing professionally, and has raced in France, Italy, and the US.
At the 2.5 mile, I was already in the top gear.
15T top gear.
Why don’t we go for 11T?
What? are you aiming for over 140 kph? [I love Ikegami’s incredulous reaction]
Ikegami had been conservative with the 15T gear to make sure the rider was going to be alright. He decides that to go to 11T, he needs to convert the middrive cluster from 5 cogs to 7. Can he get this done in three hours?
Ikegami-san how are we doing?
Well we’re pretty keyed up. The wind conditions look good. If we are lucky we should get in a good run.
Wait a minute, aren’t you going at it a little to hard for a warm up?
Komori replies that his peak effort is less than 5 minutes, so it is more important to be able to put out peak power, even from the beginning of the run.
Explaining about the display board at timing and if he goes below 6 seconds, then the speed is 120 kph.
here we go!
at the 2.5 miles he is 1 kph faster than yesterday
five seconds and change over 200 m!
Japan moves into 2nd place
I didn’t manage to get into top gear.
I finally had the feeling that we got a good run in.
Day 6: last day of the competition.
Talking things over with cowl designer Mr. Seki.
Ryohei gets some advice from world record holder Todd. (go all out for the last 1000 to 1600 m) It takes experience to find out how to apply the power exactly where down the course to get the highest speed.
With this advice in mind, they decide that Komori needs to start sprinting about 5 seconds earlier.
I need to extend my sprint. I’ll imagine that the finish line is just a little further away.
Last change to run, one blown start, and then success. [note that during the first launch, it looks like the guy to the left tripped and pushed the bike over]
Junior Chihara: Is it normal that he is weaving back and forth like that?
Reply: not unusual if he is sprinting. (gear number5)
Felt like a good run if the winds were legal.
Even as I thought that I couldn’t hold the effort, I managed to push through. I was able to get into top gear!
82.03 mph, legal wind!
Even though they didn’t set a new world record they finished 2nd in the world.
and a 80 mph hat.
Final thoughts with the team:
Well for a ten month project, the idea that you could go faster than 100 kph on a bike seemed a bit crazy, but when we went 90 in March, then I thought, well something in the 130 kph range was within reach.
It was really satisfying to build such a pretty bike.
Well we put ourselves under pressure because we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves coming out here. We are proud we did well under pressure, and we really enjoyed ourselves.
Congratulations on all your effort!
Next time on Sugowaza: how to launch a drink all the way down a 15m long bar.
It’s doubtful that the team will return to WHPSC, which is a shame. They did phenomenally well, having the most successful debut ever for a new team and a new bike. One can only speculate how much faster they could have gone if they had gotten more than 3 runs down the five mile course.