Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Velodrome

Fantasy Bob is pleased to read that Britain’s cyclists have pronounced themselves happy with their new Velodrome, specially constructed for the coming London Olympics at outrageous expense. They are expecting it to deliver record breaking performances.

Apparently one characteristic of the track is that the finish line is further down the home straight than other tracks – FB knows nothing about cycling but he might have thought records would be more likely to broken if the finish line was brought nearer the start line.

FB is endlessly confused by the myriad of strange events that form the cycling competition. It wasn’t like that when he got his Cycling Proficiency Certificate. Even so, FB understands that the Olympic committee is giving consideration to additional events based on simulating real cycling experiences, most particularly an event which has cyclists speeding down pavements knocking over pedestrians here and there. Mrs FB attests that the practice track for this event has been situated on her walking route between home and office – as a result of which she is a medal prospect for the complimentary event of dodging cyclists. Her vigorously brandished umbrella and suggestions where the cyclists can put their 24 gear shifts would also gain her additional style points.

However Edinburgh Council’s imaginative plans for a pothole dodging race have been abandoned when it was found that there is not enough track between the potholes to make a viable track.

But FB has also noted how science is coming to the aid of the cyclists, as nothing is left to chance in the pursuit of completely useless medals. A significant factor is the weather – notwithstanding the fact that the events are all indoors. The arena is apparently kept at a constant temperature of 28 degrees – that is quite a bit cooler than the conditions found throughout the cricket season at Carlton’s Grange Loan HQ. But other factors are important too – humidity and air pressure. Together they affect the density of the air as the boffin investigating all this says ‘The higher the air density, the harder it is to push through the air.’  Doh - isn't science wonderful?  This means that low pressure is what these lycra-wrapped peddlers are hoping for during the summer. Summer low pressure is associated with rain and squalls. So if the cycling records tumble, it’ll be another bad summer for cricketers.

In the spirit of scientific enquiry, under the supervision of go-ahead club Carlton's top sports scientists Fantasy Bob took part in some of the highly secret tests to determine the implications for cricketers. He and Sir Chris Hoy were tested under a range of conditions. While it was a strain to be assessed against Edinburgh’s finest elite competitor, Hoy came through pretty well.

FB recently gained exclusive access to the report and shares them here with his worldwide readership.

Weather Factor
Sir Chris Hoy
Fantasy Bob
High temperature
Super fast – expect records to tumble
Low temperature
Not so fast but gold medals assured
Low Pressure
Low air density – whoosh!
High Pressure
Not so fast but still a winner
Low Humidity
Greased lightning
High Humidity
Fast but a bit more sweaty

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