Friday, 20 June
There was a funny post on the WSBA email list yesterday, wishing that we could all abandon our TT bikes for stage races so that we could make 4-person carpools instead of 2-person carpools for faraway events like Elkhorn. Well, Bryce, I would argue it's about the vehicle you drive and not the bike(s) you want to ride.
Take those 4 people in your optimal carpool. Add one bike per person. Now add the second pair of wheels per person that each may be compelled to put into neutral service via the "wheel lottery." Now add the fancy crit wheels that at least one crit rider in your carpool is sure to want to take. Toolbox. Helmets. Trainers. Then 4 of the giant bags that bike racers take to every event. A cooler. Food. I think you're going to need a Hummer to drive all that stuff to Baker City. Say you get it into something that gets 20 miles/gallon (highly unlikely). It's 380 miles, so that means you use 19 gallons of gas. That's 4.75 gallons per person.
My husband and I loaded our VW with our TIME TRIAL bikes, road bikes, TT wheels, extra road wheels, cooler, bags, food, stuff we're bringing to deliver to other riders who'll be at this race, a laptop, supplies for my time-killing hat hobby, food, toolbox, etc. The two of us in our car get better than 40 mpg, but let's call it 40 for ease of computation. That comes to 9.5 gallons of fuel, or...drum roll, please...4.75 gallons per person.
Since the 4 of you will be in a vehicle probably getting more like 12-15 mpg and we'll probably be getting more like 42 mpg, in the end, at least in terms of fuel consumption, our 2-person carpool comes out being more fuel efficient than your 4-person "economizing" carpool. AND I get to race on my TT bike. AND my car runs on biodiesel, which further reduces my carbon footprint.
When you find a 45-mpg diesel van, let me know. Until then, please don't argue for banning TT bikes at stage races! And don't think that those of us on real TT bikes are necessarily leaving bigger carbon footprints than you.