Wer verbirgt sich hinter CAS

Christian v. Ascheberg, ein eingeschworener Brevet-Fahrer. Die Langstrecke ist seine Leidenschaft, schon seit vielen Jahren. Bis zum 2.4.2010 war Christian Weltrekordhalter über 24h mit sagenhaften 1069km.
Außerdem hat er auf sich aufmerksam gemacht bei diversen Zeitfahren Hamburg Berlin, als Initiator mehrerer Liegeradrennen auf der der Bosch-Teststrecke in Boxberg. Er kennt aber auch das Scheitern. Sein erster 24h Weltrekordversuch gelang nicht. Christian ist aber so veranlagt, dass auch Fehlschläge ihn nach vorn bringen, denn er lernt daraus. Erfolgreiche Teilnahme bei „Paris-Brest-Paris“ (1200km), verlangt halt nach einem Gemüt, dass Rückschläge in positive Energie umsetzen kann.
Ein weiteres Alleinstellungsmerkmal ist seine Erfahrung mit Einspurvollverkleidungen im Alttag/ öffentlichen Straßenverkehr. Es gibt weltweit niemanden, der über mittlerweile fast ein Jahrzehnt mehr Erfahrung mit einer Einspurverkleidung ( Bülk 1 & 2 ) im öffentlichen Verkehr gesammelt hat.

Bald wird es erste Tests mit einem neuen Milan (superleicht und kleiner) geben. Es ist höchstwahrscheinlich, dass der neue Milan leistungsfähiger ist, als die Bülk. Damit wäre das Ziel ein Stück näher, mit einem Serienfahrzeug den Rekord zu brechen.

Interview with Christian von Ascheberg

Since the beginning of August, Christian von Ascheberg holds the world record over 12h, 1000km and 24h in the fully faired class. Christian who was born in 1958 in Kassel, Germany now lives in Wolfenbüttel with his wife and his son. BentBlog talked to him.

BentBlog: Christian, first of all, congratulations fort he new 24h-record. How did you come to long-distance-cycling?

Christian: At the  Eustaff in 2001 I applied with a Speedbike with tail fairing for a fast  leg. I was allowed to ride with fully faired Bülks of Jens Buckbesch and Eggert Bülk. I had overestimated my potential significantly. From Eggert, I received the „fastest Duomatik of the world“, as his fairing was called, as a present. In Autumn of 2002, Martin Exeler spoke about Trondheim-Oslo during a recumbent-regulars‘ table and that he wanted to ride Paris-Brest-Paris in 2003. In a beer-created mood I said „I will do that too“. I rode. Since 2004, I am ARA-organizer.

BentBlog: What is so exciting about riding records? Is it the fame?

Christian: Fame was my aim in Schötz 2005. With this I became unhappy myself. I chased the record in 2006. Since then, I ride against myself. During every ride, I can see that by far not everything is going optimally. I estimate the deficits and try to get as close to the optimum as possible.  But new findings also move the optimum further. I am happy when everything is running as good as possible with me. That can be rank 5. Though a record is nicer, of course. 15 years ago, a phrase like “the way is the goal” would have been an offence to me. You are doing something to achieve something. After the first victory an important victory coming. Then a record,  a more significant record, every year a record? No, that doesn’t work well. Already the preparation has to be fun. Riding the records themselves is just fun. I am happy about the records by Charles, Wulf and Andreas almost as much as about my own ones.

BentBlog: Is this a sport for lone warriors or would you call it a team-achievement?

Christian: That is clear: a team-achievement.

You need the bike, the atmosphere during the event, the emotions. In the end also the performance of the ride. The group of participators is pretty huge.

BentBlog: You are organising your own Brevets and you are riding them yourself. What is more fun, riding 1200km in a circle or, say, Paris-Brest-Paris?

Christian: 1200km in a circle. During PBP 2003, as during all of my other brevets, I was always alone. The fun-factor of the Dekra-Event is unbeatable.

BentBlog: How much time do you spend on training for long-distance rides? And in this context: what does your family say regarding your hobby? Christian von Ascheberg

Christian: For years, I have been riding constantly over 25000km per year. In winter, I spend more time on the bike than in summer. But I am riding slower then. In spring,I am riding brevets and other long distances. That makes me fast. At some weekends, there are declared events where I am allowed to leave. Usually, I am available for the family on weekends. If nothing happens then, I grab my bike and I am gone for a short while. My real training is done during my working days. I get onto my bike at 5:30 in the morning. After work I am away until 18:00, sometimes longer.

BentBlog: For your record, you rode a Carbon-Milan-SL. How much faster than your “old” Bülk was this vehicle?

Christian: The Milan-SL runs approximately 6 km/h faster. In 2009, where a perfect lap with the bulk was 49km/h it was now 59km/h. miss-calculated? No, you have to ride slower at heat, non-running times get more significant at higher speeds.

BentBlog: Please tell us something about your new super-vehicle.

Christian: I do not want to tell a lot about the technical aspects, you will be able to read this on www.milan-velomobil.de. In contrast, I am telling you what I feel about the Milan. I am lying quite flat. Eating and drinking works well – I do not mean the handling, but indeed the chewing and swallowing, much better than in the Bülk. In the Milan, you can grab things which are rolling around loosely. Unthinkable in the Bülk. I did mostly not lean the head against the headrest.  It is cooled better by the stream of cooling air if it is further to the front. With the Bülk, I leaned the head against the side of the head-part, thus cuddling with the bike. The Bülk fit like a second skin. This effect is not achieved as well in the Milan. During pedaling, my thighs touch the wheel houses lightly. The buckles in the hatch are too far on the sides for me as I am riding with a very short bottom bracket and pedals with a low Q-Factor. Hurting positions at the inner knees were a result of this. My Milan was loud, this made a communication with my crew impossible. But I worked on that already.

BentBlog: One could get the impression that the developments in the velomobile sector came suddenly pretty rapidly. Did Daniel Fenn’s public and self-conscious presentation have an important influence on the scene?

Christian: Yes, Daniel is a gain for the scene and for Beyss too. Daniel and me are friends. Beyss and the Räderwerk are rivals. It sparks and cracks and everybody gains from it. Both, the Evo and the Milan are great bikes. Great to see that the development is still going on. We can expect even faster bikes.

BentBlog: Will the use of Carbon/Kevlar, honeycombs and smaller variants of known VM-bodies end a longer development step or will we soon see more developments?

Christian: I don’t know. I could see that the better surface of the Milan participated to the success. On a flat circular track the weight is not of major importance. But it is on hilly tracks. The question is, what happens during a crash. I am evaluating new techniques based on their benefit and I do not need the newest. My record-Milan did only have standard components and was not trimmed on lightweight construction.

BentBlog: During the record weekend, a couple of riders had to quit due to stomach-problems. Can you explain for my readers, what exactly is this problem during long-distance riding?

Christian: I can only talk of myself. When I ride very fast for a longer period, I cannot eat or drink after a certain time. If I do it though, I start to feel sick. You could go slower for a certain time now and eat and drink again. But you could also chose a speed from the beginning on that you can get enough in. Perhaps you don’t have to eat anything at the end, because the bonk comes after the end of the ride. Long-distance riding has less to do with fighting than with estimating of when and how fast to ride.

BentBlog: You had pretty much problems with heat during your record ride. Are there already thoughts to find technical solutions for this?

Christian: Yes. I will optimise the stream of air in the head cover. Too much of the incoming air was not used to cool my head. For shorter rides, I will in contrast close the air entrance at the double head lights. The VM-scene realized that for record rides cooling is a subject as well as in 1h-vehicles.

BentBlog: Now as temperature is that essential, should future record rides be held in winter?

Christian von Ascheberg Christian: No, no chance for winter. First, my metabolism is very different in winter. Second, air is too dense then. I would not speak against a record weekend in Australia in winter.

BentBlog: You announced you want to rather plan future record events and you would like to bring foreign riders to Germany to set new records on the Lausitzring. What exactly are you thinking about?

Christian: A World Championship, a European Championship of recumbents should comply with the expectations linked to their name. I will never be able to hold a WC or EC. For this a binding character of a fixed scheduling is missing. We will always be guests which use free days on the test track and who come long after big business. The site www.droplimits.de arose to give sponsors a platform. Let’s hope to collect enough money to give foreign riders a sufficient financial support for travelling. A further subject: We represent the primary Olympic thought pretty well. Pure amateur sport. We have a profession and most of us also a family. Nobody is given free time by his employer for the sport. We are independent of media and sponsors.

Further test tracks would be good for us. I think 25 starters parallel are the maximum during a Dekra-Event.

BentBlog: Are there any hints that bigger firms are interested in a sponsoring in this field?

Christian: Everybody will have to help with this. Until a week ago (remark: I held this interview in the week of the record  event) we did only deal with the realization of the event and the riding. Now it is about reviewing. Soon I will walk around with photos with a note on the back side “thank you for your donation to the HPA for the realization of the record event”.

BentBlog: Apart from scene-websites, one could find rather few about the record weekend in the media. Are there any efforts to change this?

Christian: Not from my side. For example: my local newspaper knew of the event and interviewed me. They knew that in case of a world record, I would not be satisfied with a report in the local news section. I did not hear anything from them anymore. The media are fighting against internet-newspapers. www.droplimits.de und bentblog.de are internet newspapers. Authentic, contemporary, interactive. The media will lose this fight in our sport. Some day the mass of the newspaper readers will realise that they receive only a small part of reality. This is my opinion.

Jörg Basler and you, Chris you are doing an excellent job. Thank you for this.

BentBlog: Thanks for the compliment. Beneath your announcement not to start for a new record soon, you also expressed that 1300km can be made. Are you already keen on the next record?

Christian: My wife is, no was over-strained by my record rides. The threshold of pain was reached. Additionally, if I start, I have to see a potential to increase the performance. The threshold of pain is moved and new potential is in sight. Right now, I try to get a date for 6 hours.

BentBlog: Now, you are holding the 12h-, the 1000km- and the 24h-Rekord. Regardless of whether you approach the 1300km or not, are there any other sportive challanges, you would like to approach in the nearer future?

Christian: No, I want to spend some time with my family and live as long and as happy as possible as now. Hence, I question every change which is coming with success. Though RAAM is appealing to me.

BentBlog: Good luck and fun with this. Thank you for this interview!

Was einen so fast aus der Bahn werfen kann

Mein Training läuft exakt nach Plan. Die Brevets habe ich mit kürzesten Zeiten abgeschlossen. Aber das Wetter war ja dieses Jahr auch jeweils optimal.

Im Mai, also recht spät bin ich dann vom Zox26 auf mein Sommer-Speedbike umgestiegen und hatte einigermaßen Mühe mit der geringeren Tretlagerüberhöhung. Gleich von Anfang an war meine Trittleistung bescheiden. Ich habe dann die Supreme hinten runter geschmissen und Grand-Prix aufgezogen. Das Tempo wurde besser, die Trittleistung natürlich nicht.

Inzwischen zweifelte ich, ob es wirklich eine gute Idee ist, so schlapp auf Rekordjagd zu gehen. 150W Dauerleistung empfand ich als recht sportlich. Ich checkte meine Lebensmittel, den Kaffeekonsum und alles, was ich am Rad verändert hatte. Wird schon, vielleicht ist der Tacho ja kaputt.

Gestern habe ich das Rad umgedreht um die Umlenkrolle zu testen. Sie saß fest und bewegte sich keinen Millimeter. Die Kette hatte eine glatte Fahrbahn auf die Rolle gefräst.

Gestern dann eine Tour um Kartoffeln zu holen. heyyyyyyy, 220W ist ja gemütliches Radeln. Da bleibt der Puls ja dauerhaft unter 120/min. Erst jenseits von 300W wird es sportlich.

Könnt Ihr Euch vorstellen, was für ein Streß bei mir abfällt. Es ist durchaus denkbar, das die zu wenig angezeigte Leistung noch mehr aus mir herausgekitzelt hat. Denn warum sollte man sich noch mehr anstrengen, wenn man bereits Bestleistung tritt?

600er Testfahrt 6.4.,7.4.2010

Der Wetterbericht Montags verheißt gutes Wetter für Mittwoch und Donnerstag. Die Osterferien in Niedersachsen sind zuende, meine Abteilung wieder gut besetzt. Eine Gelegenheit mir zwei Tage frei zu nehmen.

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