A couple of weeks ago I participated in the Indianapolis Corporate Challenge, a sports competition pitting employees of different local companies against each other. I won’t tell you who sponsored it or who ran it, for reasons that will become obvious.
The event started with a Cycling Time Trial on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A run through the infield, then 1 1/2 laps around the famous racetrack. The rules permitted recumbents (with a safety flag 48″ above the ground, because recumbents need anchors, right) and said nothing about velomobiles. As you’ll see if you watch the second video, participants rode everything from beach cruisers to serious time trial bikes, and one velomobile.
I ran the Bülk with the race hood and no mirrors, relying on my rear camera and a little 2″ screen under the hood. It turned out I didn’t actually need a rear view mirror:
If you want to see a quick view of the run, here’s the Relive video:
If you want to see the whole run, passing a whole bunch of people, here you go:
But then a funny (well, not so funny) thing happened. My time disappeared.
Why? (you’ll love this):
We received your completed time from Thursday’s event, which was the fastest across the finish line for all our participants; however, because the event is intended for bicycles only, we are unable to score your Velomobile’s posted time of 11:29 towards your team’s result. Instead of disqualifying your race, we have applied a 5-minute timing adjustment to your ride. The updated results should reflect this for your race and your team’s total.
Moving forward, Velomobiles will not be allowed to race for a timed result, but we encourage your continued participation in the event.
Like that? Next year we’re changing the rules, so this year we’re penalizing you. So yeah, I will not be participating next year, because who wants to participate in a sports competition with an organizer that changes their rules AFTER THE EVENT to change the results? “Umm, your guy pitched a great game, but next year we’re going to change the rules, prohibiting pitches over 100mph, so we’re going to give the other team credit for a homer for every pitch that was too fast today.” Not how it works, is it?
But hey, I’m not really here to bitch, because it’s over. I’m really here to tell you, velomobiles are fast, really fast, and the Bülk is one of the fastest (last year I did the same race in a carbon fiber Quest in about 13 minutes).