Record attempt: indoor track 6/12h 100/200/300km indoor track, 100/200mi by Anna Mei
Date and location: the attempt has started Sunday Jan 21st 9am, and ended Sunday Jan 21st 9pm in the Tissot Velodrome, Grenchen Swisse, which is famous for the world record attempt of Jens Voight, and Rohan Dennis (1 hour UCI record attempt) Strasser Umca 24h world record.
The condition of the ring were perfect. Inside the humidity was confortable and the temperature was between 18 and 21 degrees celtius.
Equipment: I decided to ride the record attempt with a fixed, cause I am used to it and I feel faster and better on it. I was considering to ride with a 56X16, 85 rpm, that means to ride 24/25’ a lap, quite close to 36,5km/h.
All year I have been training on short races, to improve strength and working on the tt position, with my coach Marko Baloh.
Watts are always an important data on which we work all days. So my watts pace-race had to be, to beat the Novikova’s record, close to 160 wattage .
I’ve been working on this strength measure very hard, with constancy and discipline, since the 12h world champ in Borrego, to one week close to the attempt.
With me in the velodrome I hade two other spare bikes: another fixed and one tt bike, in case I need it.
I had an headphone on the right ear to communicate with my team, my garmin device with an extrabattery fixed on the handlebar.
The wheel were a disc wheel on the back and a trispoke on the front.
I was quite confident that 400k where in my legs and mental possibility, not sure abot how many +400k.
This is how works a world record attempt: you already know your numbers, your possibilities from indoor bike test, but you never know how it will be.
Grenchen velodrome is a fantastic place for a record attempt, so I was so so happy to try to be as fast as I have never been: 12 hours are not a long period for ultracyclers so I was very excited before it, and quite sure that it could be my last attempt in an indoor velodrome on a fixed.
The race started in a perfect way: I was happy, I was feeling good, I was singing in my mind and enjoing the ride. In one moment, After about 3.30h I suppose, my body started not to move and all over my legs, my muscles start to had many cramps. From sartorium, to quadricipes, to soleus, to piriformis, iliopsoas…under my feet and hands. I was blocked in my muscles. Since the start time I had three bottle with carbo inside so we didn’t knew what was going on me, ‘cause my hydratation was going on as it was planned..
The only thing I said, at that moment, to my team was: “Help me to get to the finish line!…I just wanna arrive to the finish line. Don’t care about the mileage, just to arrive.”
So they where helpful giving me sodium-bicarbonate, trying to massage my legs, and feet, trying to relax my muscles, and setting the tt bike.
I have been able to ride with easier gear instead of my muscles, were in a terrible bad shape, after one hour of rest.
I was not ok, but quite good to go on.
It has been very challenging for me to ride 9 hours with muscles screaming in my body. Sometimes they where a bit better, sometimes the cramps where back again.
So I had to manage this bad feelings, trying to stay in a difficult mental and physical balance.
I just wanted to arrive to the finish line cause I was riding for eb awareness, for illness children, for fundraising and I just wanted to let the butterfly children know I did not quit, as they do, all days of their life.
Quitting is not an option…
“Don’t stop when you are tired, but when you are done”.
So I keep going and after nine hours a butterfly children came to see me at the velodrome. That has been an unforgettable moment : they are the real reason why I push on my bike every day.
If you are asking me why I really do those kind of races, the answer is for eb children. They really live a terrible suffering life, and need everyday to let the people know the exist. No other words. My jersey is full of butterflies. When I ride I represent them and their ilness.
So the real goal has been to ride for 12h in that bad conditions. Good numbers 371k, but not good for what I was looking for.
The officials where Irma Baloh , Max Bozzi and Iacopo Bozzi.
The team where Marko Baloh, Bozzi Roberto, Daniele and Stefano Fiorin. They have been very very helpful during the last nine hours. Pushing me, screaming and taking me over my body limits.
There where not so many people in the velodrome during this record attempt. Grenchen is quite far away from Italy so non crowd, but we had streaming connection during the start, twice in the middle of the attempt, and at the end, while I was passing the finish line.
It has been maybe my most difficult record attempt, where I really pushed myself over my physical conditions, using my mental strenght: where the muscles dosen’t arrive, your brain power can push you over and over.
It has been a real important moment in my life, as a ultracycling rider and as a human being: a real moment on personal growth that will help me to be a better person.
This has been the real record, for me.
So after this experience I am pretty sure I will be back in Grenchen again.
My bike life is a wonderful experience…and before the record attempt I was thinking that could be my last event in a indoor velodrome…now I know it is not, and I already know in our life we have never to say, or think…
”my last time” …
cause we will never know how the future it will be.