How to Ride Your Bike Faster


With the recent reawakening of interest in the Hour Record, host Jack Thurston is joined by Michael Hutchinson (pictured, above), a professional bike racer who has dominated the UK time trialling scene for more than a decade, setting British national records for distances from 10 miles to 100 miles and winning 56 national time trial championships. He’s also an accomplished writer and his latest book Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists documents with forensic detail and wry humour his career-long quest to ride his bicycle very, very fast. He looks back on the flurry of hour records over the past six months and sizes up the chance that Bradley Wiggins will put the record out of reach for a generation.

Jack and Michael also reveal a new hour record challenge for listeners to The Bike Show. For more details on The Listeners’ Hour, see the discussion section of The Bike Show’s Strava club page.

3 thoughts on “How to Ride Your Bike Faster

  1. Hello Jack, Michael and Henri,

    Upon listening to your “How to ride your bike faster” show- I had the sudden urge to give the Hour record a go ! Now My plan was to use the safest – flattest road I could- and perhaps the one iI chose was none of those things..but it’s the best I can do at short notice ! I thought I’d give myself the rule of no liquids no food on the journey. Just to make it authentic. So I kitted up..warmed up for 2 miles, then at precisely 1pm I put the hammer down- bearing in mind the point made about riding steady for the first few minutes..I danced (!) up hills, cranked along flats and spun on the descents..I kept my head low, my arms tucked in and watched as the countryside went backwards. My goal was to make it to Coldstream on the England Scotland border..and I came within a mile of my target..ending my hour on the dot of 2pm and 38km in the bag. So success I thought..even if a limited one..then began the troubles..I had blasted myself quite far from home- without any provisions other than water. I thought I’d make this part part of the leg more cruising, but I was about to get a spanner thrown in the works. The winds picked up- against me..the temperature dropped and within a couple of miles I was battling headwinds strong enough to carry the snow blizzard at right angles to the ground. Because I was wearing a time trial helmet with a visor I was getting pelted so much I could not see ! Combine that with spent legs and no food..the return was a BEAR ! It took over 2 hours to get back in, I had become frozen, fingers and feet were numb..and when I got to my front door I don’t think much of me was working any more ! The total ride was 94km and exhausting ! BUT I had managed a good distance within the hour..and pushed my endurance into the red zone..not sure if that was good, but I am planning on using it to my advantage this coming club ride on Saturday. So thanks for the inspiration and continue with the great show ! I don’t have Strava, I don’t care about the competition, i just wanted to give it a Cheers all ! My one way route here :

  2. Hi Ben, looks like a very good effort! And quite an adventure getting back. However, the rules of the Listeners Hour require that you start and finish at the same place, within 3km distance and within 20m vertical metres of altitude. This is to prevent downhill runs and sailing on a tailwind. Jack

  3. I’ve shared this show to people interested in going faster but I’ve mixed emotions about it and the comment that more shows will focus on speed. Recent touring-y shows seem to have had more endurance or activist guests. I think maybe last June’s “Woods and Wildflowers” was the last beautiful ordinary one I heard. Would you consider a few shows about more accessible cycling like Freewheeling Abingdon, the Toggle Chain Tour, the Slow Bicycle Movement or Cambridge’s Mayday Reach Ride, please?

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