The Listeners’ Hour Explained

 

As described in this week’s podcast, the Listener’s Hour is a cycling challenge open to all listeners to The Bike Show.

And the challenge is this: to ride your bike for one hour and in that time, to travel further than 35.325km.

Why 35.325km? This is the distance of the first ever hour record, set on the Buffalo Velodrome in Paris by Henri Desgrange in 1893. By riding further than this you’ll not only know what it’s was like to have been the fastest cyclist in the world in 1893 but you’ll have beaten the man who dreamed up the Tour de France and ran the race during its most brutal, punishing era.

How it works:

Record your hour attempt using the Strava app on a smartphone or a GPS device. Post your rides to the Listeners’ Hour club page. You can have as many attempts as you like.

Attempts shall be on a road course of your choice. Any pedal-powered machine is OK. Recumbents and trikes are more than welcome. You may find it less of a challenge on a super aerodynamic laid back machine, but the choice is entirely up to you.

The start and end points of the course should be within 3km of each other. So no sailing away to glory on a brisk tailwind.

The altitude of the end point of the course must be within 20 vertical metres of altitude of the start point. i.e. no going to the top of a mountain and riding down to the bottom.

No drafting. As this is impossible to police, we’ll rely on your honour here.

There are no prizes (as yet). Even if there are prizes the principal reward will be your own sense of achievement at succeeding at something that will be challenging for all but the fittest, strongest cyclists. Everyone who succeeds in the challenge will be honoured by name on The Bike Show and I’ll figure out a way of celebrating the challenge together later in the year. Maybe someone in the bike industry will donate us some prizes. If you can help with that, please get in touch.

The challenge is open to men and women. Women are also eligible to attempt the Listeners Hour (Women Only edition), which observes exactly the same rules, except that the distance is slightly less. The distance for the Women Only challenge will be determined following Dame Sarah Storey’s attempt on the Hour Record by taking her time as a percentage of the current men’s Hour Record and applying that percentage to Desgrange’s Hour Record distance of 35.325km. It’ll likely be around the 30km mark.

Please do share your experiences of trying to go faster. I’m going to be trying to break 35.325km myself. Let’s try to do this together!

Any other questions or clarifications, just holler. We may well need to make things up as we go along.

Good luck and ride fast!

Jack Thurston

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