Weather gods permitting, between 9AM and noon this Saturday October 1st, Garage Racing‘s Aaron Berntson will attempt a new Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome one-hour record. Stewart Bowmer set the current record of 43.45km (~27 miles) in 2010.
Since this is a record attempt there will be 3 officials present to verify it’s done according to USA Cycling requirements.
The US national one hour record for 50+ men is 47.328 km (29.408 miles) set this year at Colorado Springs by John Mansell.
Aaron had been toying with the idea of an hour attempt for a long time. His experience at this year’s State Masters Road Race Championships gave him the confidence to try it now. The night before the Championships he had raced on the track and his legs still felt pretty sore, so he was hanging out at the back of the pack. After a couple of near crashes in the pack, he decided to move to the front to help teammates who were trying to initiate a breakaway. He made an aggressive move along the shoulder, and when he got to the front his momentum carried him past the group and into a breakaway of his own. It was a completely unplanned attack that started with a good gap that turned into a lead of ~1:30 over the final 20 miles or so. Aaron won the race, and the idea for an attempt at the one-hour took root.
Training was going well until Aaron crashed during a Madison practice session at the track. He broke his right clavicle and 5th rib on the right backside. After a bit of soul searching he decided to stick with his plan, and began getting coaching and guidance from teammate Matt Hill: “His coaching guidance and equipment help has been profound.”
Aaron estimates he lost about 4-5 weeks of high-intensity training after the crash. Because of the broken ribs it was difficult to do hard efforts, but he feels like he’s close to where he wanted to be: last Saturday he did a 30 min effort at the track.
Aaron will be riding a Specialized Shiv that’s been converted into a track bike with a Zipp Super 9 disc in the back, and either a Zipp 808 Firecrest or a HED trispoke in the front. The tires will be Vitoria Corsa Evos and/or Specialzed Tubular Track Turbos. Depending on conditions, the gearing will be between 97″ and 101″. He’ll be wearing a new Giro Arrowhead helmet.
Aaron will be posting updates on his Facebook page.