Stage winner Viking Tour 2014
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Mirror, mirror on the...

September 6th, 2014To the top

brake lever

Mirror, mirror on the...Finally a mirror that's compact, thus inconspicuous, without vibrating bracket and with good looks: the Zephal Spin. thoroughly tested during the Viking Tour and this is a stayer!
Naturally with some modifications, but this way it can be mounted directly on the brake lever.
Mirror, mirror on the...
 

Also looking forward to an extended weekend of bicycling?

September 4th, 2014To the top

This weekend tour of 1000 km along the Belgian borders with 6000 metres of ascending

Also looking forward to an extended weekend of bicycling?Our top randonneur Arthur van der Lee took two days extra time off to start Borders of Belgium. Well, if you have an efficient bike these tours are covered almost effortless. However, it's not really about setting the fastest time, but more the adventure along the way. You'll always experience something special.
Camping is done with a hammock tent and you'll never know where you'll end up the next evening. And the best part: the day after the event you just go back to work, because recumbent riders do not have any trace of pain in the crotch, neck, wrists, back, etc. Follow Arthur here. And this is the website of the organisation
 

Video Viking Tour 2014

August 22nd, 2014To the top
Good video-impression by a Viking Tour 2014 participant on a road bike. Well cut footage of the mountains, the views, tunnels, descents and ascends. At 52 seconds a glimpse of an M5-Team member!



 

"I think it goes faster"

July 31st, 2014To the top

Final report Viking Tour 2014


Cool down after finish: Herke Wendt, the fastest of the Viking Tour
860 km, 11500 metres of ascending, five fjords, nine mountains, this is the setting of the beautiful, but tough route of the Viking Tour. Over 140 participants, young and old, among them four recumbent riders on their M5 Carbon High Racers. (the fifth, Robert Carlier, unfortunately couldn't participate for personal reasons). The weather was untypical for Norway: loads of sun and temperatures above thirty degrees centigrade. Only during the final stage dark clouds and thunderstorms dominated during part of the day.

The positive attitude of the other participants with respect to the recumbents was striking. Lots of attention and admiration that we had the courage to go into the mountains... After the first few stages a road biker concluded: I think it goes faster. When Herke Wendt (40) had won two stages, astonishment really kicked in. What's happening here!?. But after the success of the recumbent still no sign of any envy, victory was fully acknowledged. Herke, in fact the "true Viking" due to the lack of a shirt, was mentioned separately during the award ceremony as the most rapid. Cheering seemed a little louder when his name was called.
Around the parked M5 Carbon High Racers bystanders where often checking out the technique and all kinds of questions were asked at the M5 Team. Some even took a test ride.

The M5 Team participated along a field of participants in which also a strong group of professionals took part. The leading group rode en climbed fast every day. Still Herke established the highest average stage speed twice with his M5 Carbon High Racer, 35.9 en 36.9 km/h. Both times in mountain stages with finish on top of the mountain.

The whole M5-team passed the finish without technical malfunctions. This is given the circumstances not completely obvious. The road of the prologue was in such bad condition that you were almost thrown off your bike. Kind of ascending in a river bed. Wheels coming loose from the underground due to pot holes and grooves. In later legs the bikes also took heavy impacts. Speeding through gravel on 8 bar racing tyres seems a request for flats and for wrecked rims. En what about climbing: full power on the pedals, chain as tense as a string, 12 percent, 14 percent, every revolution maximal stress on the propulsion system. Subsequently down again: kilometres of intermittent braking, expecting the rim to get red hot. But at the end of the stage only the rider is wrecked: the bike is only dusty and ready to make a new start next day.

En route road bikers could be seen struggling with their usual discomforts. But then, they have to, because "climbing on a recumbent is impossible"... In the past it has been demonstrated often then ascending on a light recumbent is fine, but thanks to Herke Wendt it has been emphasized again.

Winning a stage twice with ample lead to well trained athletes shows that climbing is just no problem. And the superiority of the recumbent on flat terrain and during descends was already no longer a subject for debate.

Ascending, preferably with a few percent slope on nice tarmac, is simply spectacular: the bike remains incredibly stable, everything feels save, under control. Carefree enjoyment on the M5 CHR's while racing down a mountain. Where road bikes ascended with 70 km/h, the recumbents went (while free-wheeling) 30 percent faster here, in this case up to 94 km/h.

The Viking Tour was an endurance test for the participating M5's and their riders. Obviously, Herke was the undisputed star. In the classifications Bram was on average at a third from the top and in the top 5 of his age category. Despite his lack of training kilometres Wout was close to Bram. Daniel not only finished the whole tour, but also managed to leave about 50 of the 150 participants behind.

Our muscle soreness has diminished again and the harshness of the Viking Tour proved to be insufficient to destroy our bikes. Bram is now considering to bring a spare rider next time instead of a spare bike :)

 

Report of 7th and final stage of Viking Tour 2014

July 28th, 2014To the top
Report of 7th and final stage of Viking Tour 2014By Bram Moens

Friday July 25 was the final leg of 158 km in the Viking Tour from fjord village Stryn to mountain place Vagamo. This stretch had 1850 metres of ascending. Biggest part of these was the ascent to the Gamle Strynsvegen, going up from sea level to 1150 metres. After my more or less mandatory two day rest due to intestinal problems, I really wanted to participate in the final stage. A beautiful route through one of my favourite mountain areas, in which I also painted a lot.
The morning start in Stryn coincided with the arrival of a massive thunderstorm, only to be outrun by riding really fast. That was my plan anyway, since I wanted to build up as much distance between me and the pursuing group, because of the long climb that would follow later.
With twofold stage winner en M5 team member Herke Wendt behind me we speeded with 50 km/h to the mountains. Cooling was through large showers: I enjoyed them after all these 30-plus centigrade days!!
I really noticed what two days of rest had done to my body. I raced at 95% of my maximal heart rate, realising I obviously wouldn't be able to maintain this for five hours

Result of our fast take-off was that the much younger and stronger athletes didn't pass us until we were at 700 metres. The overtaking speed was clearly lower than at the beginning of the Viking Tour. Just imagine: younger (say 30 years), stronger (400 Watt in stead of 295 Watt) en lighter riders on M5 Carbon High Racers... Any difference would simply be eliminated!!

On top of the mountain plateau a 23 km flat to 1 to 2% descending dirt road followed, featured with large potholes. And yes, in one of these I encountered a somewhat too sharp edge at 50 km/h which even my 9 bar rear tyre could not withstand. Repairing the snakebite took me 12 minutes and I had to continue with just 5 bar of pressure due to the limitations of the small hand pump. Moments later another pothole made my cellphone go airborne. The search for the four pieces of phone took me another 3 minutes.
The 70 km hidden gradient/flat route plus 200 metre bump from Grotli to Vagamo was recumbent heaven and occasionally guaranteed high top speeds.
At the end of the stage we were presented a climb of another 5 kilometres with gradients up to 14%.
Eventually I finished with five hours of cycling at place 28 of 141 participants, of which 95% being younger than I.

By the way, also this five hour ride was covered fully solo.

However, why do we do all this??

  • Climbing while using a lightweight recumbent: theoretically no different from a comparable road bike, but now also in practice: forty year old landscaper demonstrates with two victories on an M5 CHR it is indeed possible.
  • Testing durability and quality of M5 CHR frames and assembled parts under extreme circumstances

In short: if a bike like the M5 Carbon High Racer survives all the challenges at the highest level of the Viking Tour with National Norwegian Triathlon Team members amongst them you can be sure that it will also meet all your requirements during commuting, bicycle holidays or long tours.
Report of 7th and final stage of Viking Tour 2014
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