Will the Arrow Fly Faster?

As BR stood at the 7-Eleven soda fountain watching the fizzy stream of Diet Pepsi fill her 2 year-old 64 oz Double Gulp cup, her mind began to wander. Somewhere in the midst of her effervescence management, an idea for a new study floated into her head. It was as if the bubbles that she was trying to keep from overtaking the soda content of her Double Gulp floated the idea up to her head.
Why hadn’t she thought of this before?
The next world-improving study to be performed at the Big Ring Outdoor Testing Facility would measure the effectiveness of “aero” equipment. Specifically a tt helmet and aero bars. BR is working on a grant to fund testing of a solid disc wheel. That test may be a ways down the road.
You may remember that BR has scoffed aero equipment in the past. BR’s mindset has changed. At some point in May, BR decided that crits and road races were not really her forte. Her strengths seemed to lie more in the arenas of time-trialing and track. A subsequent purchase of aero bars and a tt helmet followed.
The effectiveness of this time trial would be tested on the 1.1 mile Big Ring Outdoor Testing Facility Time Trial Strip that extends down Watson from the first light post at Kohls to the Denny’s sign. A distance of 1.1 miles.
Phase one was performed “Merckx Style”…no aero equipment at 4:30 a.m. under the observation of some rather perplexed Sunset Hills and Crestwood police officers. They happened to be camped  out respectively  in the Valvoline Oil Change and Crestwood Bowl  parking lots along the tt course.

The results were as follows:
3.05.70, 3.03.24, 2.58.24…21.7 mph average. Average time of 182.4 seconds.

Phase 2. Aero bars were attached to Black Betty’s handlebars. Unfortunately BR had managed to strip the screw on the odometer/speedometer strap. Consequently, the odometer/speedometer had to remain on the handlebars which created quite a crowd scene…especially when the headlight was affixed.
BR shoved her large German melon into the tt helmet and headed to the Big Ring Outdoor Testing Facilities Time Trial Strip.
The results were as follows….
2.57.20, 3.00.17, 3.01.29. 22.05  mph average.
Average time of 179.55 seconds.
So there you have it. Aero equipment shaves off about 3 seconds per mile. Roughly speaking. BFD you say?
Well yeah. It really isn’t a whole lot. If you are not into the time trial or track flying 200 scene, this whole study doesn’t mean a hill of beans.
But if you are, you know that 3 seconds per mile can equate to 27 seconds on a 9 mile tt course. That is a lot.
BR is a little ashamed to admit that she has gotten wrapped up in all of this aero stuff but nonetheless wanted to report what she has discovered in case any of you out there were interested in becoming a tt geek like herself.

Cheers,
Kate (a close friend of BR)