An American Hour Record

The Making of Tom Zirbel’s American Hour Record

I love a good Hour Record attempt.  I also love a good behind-the-scenes cycling documentary.  So when you combine the two, you definitely have my attention.

Rally cycling released the half-hour documentary “An American Hour Record” today which depicts the preparations and record breaking attempt of Tom Zirbel last fall.  In his final act as a pro cyclist, Zirbel broke the American Hour Record and set the second best distance in the world behind Bradley Wiggins.

“An American Hour Record” highlights that even though the Hour Record is a solo effort, it takes an entire team to achieve your best result.

Ever since the Jens Voigt kick off the latest round of interest in the Hour Record, I have been captivated by the test of man and machine.  I think the Hour Record is the ultimate data nerds event.  You can, and have to, obsess over every detail in order to get the best result possible.  One small change to equipment or position or location can mean a difference of hundreds of meters, the difference between breaking the record and just missing it.

I harbor a desire to try the Hour Record myself.  To experience what these athletes have gone through and share that experience with my readers.  It definitely wouldn’t be a record breaking attempt but I still think it would be a great experience.  Unfortunately the costs associated with it (track time, equipment, etc.) means its not currently viable but I am going to keep working on this dream.

Until the time that I get to make my own attempt, I hope their is a renewed interest in the event once more.  At the moment, it feels like Wiggins has put the record out of reach but riders like Rohan Dennis and Alex Dowsett could challenge his record if they were to make another attempt.  Both have the engine necessary and the experience from their first attempt.

Hopefully we wont have to be waiting too much longer for the next attempt at the Hour Record.