So, that’s a wrap for the 2012/13 season. We’ve seen big technical developments, the fastest lap time reduced from 41s to 36s, loads of people have tried IceTrack cycling for the first time (both on 400m ice ovals and outdoors on the frozen lakes) and some have even returned to try it again!
And what’s in store for next season?
New (commercial) concepts to be tried out in Assen, NL
Special attention for disabled sportsmen and a hand powered Ice-Bat
Dutch National Championship Series
Tour of Germany
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On Sunday evening 26 participants and a number of parents and supporters gathered in the cafe at the Kardinge ice oval in Groningen for the 2013 IceTrack Open Championships.
During the first session everyone did a few practice laps and then attempted a flying lap. The Ice-Bats are equiped with timing transponders so race control could read out the times and draw up the Qualifying Times list. In the second session all 4 Ice-Bats lined up in heats next to each other (qualifyers 1 – 4, 5 – 8, etc) for the medals race off.
Defending champion, Alwin, won the last heat but Peter blitzed round in the decider to knock 3 seconds off Alwin’s time and take the championship. There were some great performances all through the field but Laura’s and Henriette’s efforts were particulary good!
Not everything went completely smoothly: Ice-Bats Red and Yellow are now 3 seasons old and they work well, however Green and Blue are new this year and they were not cornering as well which more than offset the advantage of being able to change gear. Red is the official testbed for new ideas and last week I did a 36.2s lap. I ‘de-tuned’ Red to make it fairer but it still won more races than the others. My best lap in Kardinge was 41.5s.
The other reason to de-tune Red was to make the racing safer and I was delighted to finish the Champs. with close racing and no accidents. Most people are completely new to IceTrack cycling: next year we will all move up the evolution ladder and will be using the tuned-up versions! In 5 years time the aim is to be very close to the skaters (ie sub 30s laps).
And to finish off, a big thanks to everyone who has helped and taken part: you are pioneers. €130 goes to the Nierstichting and the 2022 Olympic dream is very much alive.
On Tuesday the Ice-Bats were at Thialf and on Thursday at the Bonte Wever in Assen. At both venues 6 – 16 year olds put the Ice-Bats through their paces and for the first time we held a series of side by side races over 3 laps.
It was a great experience and the lap times tumbled. The boys are down to 43s and Laura managed 46s!
Intent on designing the world’s best cycle to race round 400m speed skating ovals and on promoting the new sport of IceTrack cycling, I lost sight of the other things you can do with an Ice-Bat!
The last few days, away from the clinical conditions of indoor ice ovals and test pilots, we let rip on the open expanses of the frozen Zuidlaardermeer! There was super hard natural ice, east wind, skaters young and old, dogs, kite buggies and of course people who can’t skate but came to watch the winter spectacle. And the local TV came to report on the Ice-Bats!
We skidded and drifted the Ice-Bats, turned them over and fell off, raced at up to 45 km/h, rode them on ’1 wheel’, weaved between skaters, kids and adults alike tried the Ice-Bats for the first time, and generally we went mad. Nothing broke and the only injury was sustained by slipping over while ‘standing’ on the ice.
What I saw (and heard) was that the Ice-Bats are great fun to ‘arse about’ on and crutially Ice-Bats open up the wonder of ‘skating’ to those that cannot or choose not to skate. Obviously in Holland they are the minority (!!), but world wide the majority. Unfortunatly I am not a great entrepreneur, but if you happen to be one, I’d love to hear from you!
In 2 weeks time I take delivery of the 2 new Ice-Bats and the series of indoor events kicks off. Please register your interest (events page) if you want to know more. Don’t forget, the sport of IceTrack Cycling is not just new to you, it is new to the world so sign up and have a go!
We had a brilliant time this morning on the lake – perfect black ice! Peter clocked 44 km/h on the slightly dodgy GPS / 45 km/h on the bike speedo. A number of ‘passers by’ took the Ice-Bat for a spin and Hein shot a new promo. video to be released soon! Here are the great videos put together by David