Location: Brittany, France (west part of France)
* Bordeaux-Paris 2006
* Audax brevets: 200,300,400, 600Km.
* Paris-Brest-Paris 2007.- 1250Km in 80H3min – lot of rain.
Bent Make/Model: Home made carbon High Racer 2 x 26’- ZOCKRA (soon in production)
Why did you start riding bents? After 20 years of Windsurfing, I wanted something fun and I tried a Lowracer. The top speed was fascinating (65Km/h on the flat and 109Km/h downhill) and convinced me.
Why did you pick this model? I first bought a stock Baron which is great for most races in Europe but after the world Cup held in France, I saw a couple of High Racers with stunning results. I started investigating whether a high racer could be as fast as a low racer if I could reduce its weight. I could not afford a carbon High racer so I built it. It weighs 10.2Kg complete but has vintage parts from my father’s garage. I bought a set of CORIMA wheels which makes a very big different on the speed but the breaking distance under water is……… very long….. even with special brake pads (cork!).
Equipment? Repair Bottom bracket crank from Stronglight JP1000, Clincher Corima carbon wheels, Optima carbon seat, Custom made handle bar, old Mountainbike gear shifters, Vintage Simplex front derailleur. (1980?), rear Shimano 105 derailleur, Optima idler ( not ideal). I also have a wireless speedo and cadence meter.
Lighting: I use a 4 leds helmet light ( good for reading a map but not for riding). I have a single Cateye LED mounted to front derailleur post but this is clearly not enough on small roads. . I also have a Cateye tail light mounted my helmet and a smaller one on the back of the seat.
Fenders: don’t have any because my bike is high.
Luggage: A small bag fitted on the side of the seat holds all my food. A small bag on the back of my seat has all my tools and my camel bag. Cost: 10 euros for 2 bags. (7 dollars)
Navigation: I only use the information provided by the organization and a mobile phone if I get really lost.
Bent specific riding techniques: For long distance, I try to ride alone because I don’t want to ride at a higher speed than my body can cope with. I also try to achieve a high velocity downhill and climb the small hills with some inertia. If the hill is bigger, I spin my legs nice and easy at about 100 rev/min. I try to never push too hard up-hill.
Eating on a bent: I use OVERSTIM products: Idixir (fast sugar) + Malto ( glycogene) in my camel bag (2.5l) and Liquid food (banana flavor) in a small bottle. After a couple of hours, if my stomach wants something solid, I get a sandwich and a coke to get extra sugar.
If you were to start again what bent/setup would you get? I would keep a similar bike because I feel safer than on a lowracer when a car arrives. I would lower the seat a little bit because if you get a stiff leg so can fall when stopping. I would also try to save as much weight as possible on the bike with a target of 8Kg complete. That would increase my speed up-hill. I was surprised during my PBP because I was fast up-hill compared to normal uprights. I noticed that the upright suffered a lot on the saddle and could not pedal down hill making the up-hill even slower.
LR Racing in France: I am in charge of the biggest French racing association so we can help you if you come to do long distance race in France.