I pass our local drag strip on my bicycle loop through the Brown County countryside. Thursday, I stopped by to talk with the crew preparing the 1/8th mile drag strip for the weekend races. They were cleaning the surfaces and getting ready for the start, Friday, and mentioned their timing and lights would be operational tomorrow at noon. I did two quick sprints up and back on the track to locate the start block and finish line. All the while thinking tomorrow...
Steve, a riding partner, and I did a short loop the next day, eight miles, stopping at the track about twelve. The massive, noisy, and powerful engines with cars attached, were warming up in preparation for the competition. I was allowed guest entrance and promised a chance to help test their timing lights before the races began. We watched them prepare the tracks with scrubbers, water hoses and lastly as they laid down two layers of sticky compound (think glue) to help the massive tires and horsepower get traction on the twin tracks. After cleaning my 700c by 25mm slick tires it was my turn to set out. I had given Steve a quick course in my camera, and positioned him behind the start line where he could also get the timing lights and me in the frame. As I went off he caught the action and I was able to document the event.
I now hold the record time for the Brown County Dragway for bicycles, at 24.33 M.P.H. at 26.397 seconds.
If I had been held up and steadied, clipped in the pedals, I would have taken a second off the time, but the finishing speed would likely have been the same.
For those who follow technical details, this is my Criterium bicycle, made by Skrivan, weighing in about 20 pounds. The tires at 100 pounds pressure are Continental Ultra Speed. I started out in my 53 tooth chain ring and rear cog of 17 teeth, shifting one by one, 15, 14, 13 down to finish with a 12 tooth rear cog, spun out of gears about 15 feet from the finish.