I had to buy the photos this year, since I was showing off my Hakogaku wear for the first time in a race. They are also the Swedish colors and also match with those of my bike.
I biked the 60 km race this year too. I got place 190 out of 4,288 men. (Up from 298 last time, in 2013.) In addition, there was one woman who was faster than me. My average speed was 39.28, up from 39.11 last time.
I biked in the same group the whole time, so it wasn’t hard at all to be honest. But very fun, as always!
But I realise I had quite bad luck in the placement, because the first 100 persons that cross the finish line get the placements 1 to 100, even if someone who crosses the finish line later was faster. Well, I was the 103rd person to cross the finish line, not even a full second after the 100th person (he came in at 09:22:38.2, me: 09:22:38.9) – we have the same average speed of 39.28 km/h. If I had only overtook three more people, or biked one second faster, I would have got place 100 instead of 190.
Though to be fair, 190 is the fair placement.
At least you can say I have a clear goal for next year, to be among the first 100.
I took several personal records on Strava. Most proud of the last sprint before the finish line, where I got placed 20 – oops, now I’m already down to 22 – of 1744, with an average speed of 47.7 km/h on the 600 meters just before the finish line:
Simon biked too for the first time and we met up for a free Erdinger Alkoholfrei in the goal area afterwards, he came in six minutes or so after me and got place 748. All my other biking friends are biking the 120 km race.
No, I am not participating this year. In the last minute – having pumped the tires, filled the water bottle, put in the lenses, etc – I decided it was too cold and rainy.
Respect to those of you who are riding!
I went down to Hermannplatz and snapped this photo of the leaders of the 60 km race. Unfortunately my camera is too bad to catch any bib number:
These guys came right after the leaders:
These came some minutes later:
And these came quite a bit later, after I had bought some brötchen at a bakery:
You can tell it was rainy from the pictures. And here are the Twitter reports I read while still undecided about whether I should go or not:
BZ reported from the rainy start, here is a screenshot:
Of course it’s a defeat not to participate, but I’m an adult and I can do what I want. 🙂
Update: Here are the leaders of the 120 km race (looks like a Monet painting):
I started in the A block this year – the photo above is taken just 10 minutes before the start at 7.50 this morning, at Potsdamer Platz.
According to the inofficial results, I advanced from place 483 last year to 298 this year – out of 4835 participants (counting men only) in the 60 km race. My average speed was 39,11 – up from 38,57 last year.
115 is my placement within the age group with the flattering name Senior Men 1.
This was my third Velothon. As always it’s a fantastic feeling to bike fast in a group on roads where you’re normally not allowed to bike. I’m not a sporty person at all, but I love to bike fast.
There was one quite serious crash just infront of me; at least two people fell and I just barely managed to avoid it.
Teilnehmerbereich some 20 minutes after finish:
The goal on Straße des 17. Juni:
Update with one of the official photos, taken shortly before finish:
Update with two videos. The first one shows the start. I pass at 2.48:
The second video shows the sharp curve right after the biggest downslope, where I topped at 59,6 kph – and then I was taking it easy, not pedaling, drinking some water etc. Three people are caught on tape as they lose control of their bikes and crash:
Holy fucking shit, that was fast and fun! I biked the 60 kilometers of today’s Berlin Velothon in 1 hour, 36 minutes and 28 seconds, giving me an average speed of 40,06 kph (24.89 mph) = place 485 out of 4893 men = top 10 percent! (Women are counted separately.)
Follow the route at Garmin Connect.
For me, the race was very different from last year. Then I started in block E, and the race pretty much consisted of overtaking lots of cyclists. This year I started in block B, and the race was all about sticking to your group of cyclists and taking turns leading it.
Once again, it was great fun – and the best part of it is to be allowed to bike in the middle of the roads where usually bikes are not allowed.
And this race made me love my Cannondale Caad 10 (2012 model) even more. What a perfect piece of engineering it is. And beautiful too.
Update: Well, the results, which are still “unofficial”, changed a bit; my average speed decreased to 38,57 kph and my placement from 485 to 488. Time total is the same. Guess over 40 kph was a bit too good to be true! Maybe next year…
This is how I picture it.
My main goal in the Skoda Velothon Berlin 2011 was not to be picked up by the “Besenwagen”. I’m not sure what it is, but it doesn’t sound good. It’s some kind of vehicle that drives after the bicyclists and picks up those who are too slow for the race. I suspected I might be one of those. A police officer on a motorbike even asked me before the race: “Are you gonna bike on that?” Referring to my Stevens Randonneur, a touring bike. Almost all other participants had road bikes.
So I’m an amateur. But I love biking, and I love biking fast. Especially, I love biking on roads – I hate the bumpy bike paths that prevent you from using the road. In fact, only a week before the race, on my second test ride, another police officer admonished me to use the bike path. So for me, biking the Velothon was partly a way to reclaim the roads, so to speak.
I hated that second test ride, not least cause I had to take a detour through the woods which totally destroyed my bike (and my Nikes) – think wet sand, needles and leaves in all orifices. And cars everywhere – I must remember to always bike on Sundays from now on, that’s when the streets are the most empty. So the second test ride wasn’t much of a training. In general, I had trained very little, because I had so much to do in other areas of my life.
So I was very pessimistic about the race.
Remember my first test ride? It took 2:50 h in total, 2:30 when only counting the rolling time. My average speed was 26,4 kph (16,4 mph). And I was exhausted to the verge of collapse afterwards.
Ok, last Sunday was the race, Europe’s second biggest event of the kind: 15,000 bicyclists, 5,000 of whom would bike the short round (60 km/37 miles) with me.
We started out fast. I gave everything in the beginning, gazing nervously at my bicycle computer that told me we hadn’t even biked 5 kilometers yet. Would I hold out to the end? Well, I did! I used some downslopes to rest a bit, and I was careful to drink water and iso-drink every now and then. I didn’t stop a single time.
Among the 4,273 male bicyclists in my race I ended up on place 1,571. I biked the whole round in 1 hour and 50 minutes, giving me an average speed of 35 kph (22 mph). All according to the official measuring (the actual route was a bit longer than 60 km).
I’m immensely proud of those results, especially considering my bike, my condition, and the fact that it was my first race – I’m really not the sporty type.
Racing was so much fun! Imagine lots of other bicyclists riding at the same high speed as yourself. We were riding the same streets that I often ride in my everyday life, although this time there were no cars around and we didn’t have to care about traffic lights. I was filled with happiness at many points in the race. I want to do this again – as soon as possible!
Next year I’ll use a road bike. With SPD pedals. I also want another thing: A team. Stay tuned for that …
Here’s a picture that some photo company took of me (I don’t care to buy the high resolution version) – I’m the one in the green-yellow jersey:
View Karl’s bike tours in a larger map.
I’m thinking about whether I should participate in Škoda Velothon Berlin on 22nd May, 2011. The registration deadline is tomorrow. So today I took a ride along the shorter distance, 60 km, to see if I would be able to meet the requirement of a minimum average speed of 23 kph (14,3 mph). That turned out to be no problem – my average speed was 26,4 kph (16,4 mph). Okay, my bicycle computer only counts the speed while I’m rolling, not during the stops, which amounted to 20 minutes in total, mostly due to traffic lights. But on the other hand, during the real race there would be no stops.
- Total time: 14:00 – 16:50 = 2 hours, 50 minutes
- Biking time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Distance: 65,8 km (40,9 miles)
- Average speed: 26,4 kph (15,8 mph)
- Max speed: 52,6 kph (32,7 mph)
Plus I didn’t count my trips to and from Brandenburger Tor, where the start and goal was. So if you add those 14 km I actually biked 80 km today. It was quite tempting to leave the route as I passed just 800 meters from my home, being in the last 10 kilometers and very tired. Biking to Brandenburger Tor almost the same route as I had done earlier in the day. I was really tired in the end. But of course I endured!
Jesus, Google Maps is so extremely buggy! Have been trying to add this route to my bike tours map for half an hour now without success. Or rather, the line grows thicker every time I try, so I probably added it three times on top of itself, but despite that it doesn’t fucking show up on the fucking map. And now I’ve got a headache! So I’ll leave you at that while I drink some more water and Apfelschorle and watch some anime.
No photos today – cause I was biking! 🙂 This was my first long trip this year. It’s nice to be back on the saddle!