Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ken Harris T-Town hour record


Ken's' home track is the Kissena Velodrome in Flushing, Queens, which has seen a resurgence in the last few years. Beginning as a cat 5 last year, he ended 2007 as a cat 2 with the New York State track omnium championship in both masters and open, a masters national championship in the points race (40-44). In 2008, he again took the NYS track omnium, and the Kissena Twilight series.

When asked what got him interested in making the attempt, he explains, "Last year I managed to qualify for the elite track nationals, and began doing some rather specific training for them -- steady state maximal efforts on rollers. I managed a 385 watt hour right before nationals. After the elites, I started thinking about another challenge, and that hour effort stood out. I did a some ramp tests at Kissena in late October and realized that it was something I could likely do if I had the same form. Jason Sprouse had crushed the 35-39 record at Trexlertown that summer, so the idea was in the air."

Ken used a Cervelo P3C, with a Zipp 808 / 909 disc pairing, and Bell meteor II helmet. The 177.5 mm cranks proved to be problem: "If there's a record for sponges-hit-by-pedal, I might have it." The gear was 54x14. The temperature at the beginning of the attempt was 65 F / 18C, and dropped a few degrees through the ride, winds were officially 5 mph, but unappreciable at the track.

Asked about his research into the event, he responded, "I think you'd be foolish not to study what Obree, Boardman, Merckx, Moser, Rominger or Hutchinson did. Most attempts fail. You have to have the engine, you then have to get the form, and then have to line up all the officials and the venue and the timing and the testing for the specific day you chose. You give yourself this problem: it's your fault when it fails. Any one thing can make it fail. Anything. You have to study the problem."

Ken wishes to thank those who supported him at the track: his wife Constance Giamo, his coach Matthew Koschara and his teammates on CRCA/Jonathan Alder Racing. He would also like to thank Andy Taus, Ellen Dorsey, Erin Hartwell, Sue Cottone, and Shawn Farrell for their help in the arrangements, Phoenix Sports for the timing, and the Adler team and Cadence Cycling and Multisports for their support.


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