MAN v BIKE
Is the heel mightier than the wheel?
For the avoidance of doubt, the Man v Bike Experiment is the BIKE ride part!
Leith Hill, Dorking, Surrey
Man v Bike Experiment discussion thread
The final course is 18.93M, with 1854ft of ascent and descent.
Man V Bike Final Course Garmin Trail
The Man v Bike is an experiment to see if a course can be devised that will allow a runner and a cyclist to compete on equal terms. The Man v Bike is the bike part - you will previously have done the run part, some time in the previous three years!
To be included in the event, you must have a qualifying time - a finish in either the Leith Hill Half or the Greensand Half Marathon (they are the same course), within the last 3 years. Your time (or fastest of your times) is the time that you are trying to beat on this mountain bike course.
We have tested this course quite carefully, and we think that it will be evens as to whether you can beat your run time - or not.
Note - the bike course will be very sparsely marked, and you are responsible for navigating the course correctly.
The bike course includes mandatory running/pushing/carrying sections where you are not allowed to cycle. The bike course also includes very steep and fast descents - you must proceed at a safe speed and must give way to all other road users where applicable.
Bikers on the Man v Bike set out at the same time as runners on the Greensand Half Marathon (10.30am).
Event fee includes tea and coffee before the start, tabbard momento (to be worn during the event) and cooked post-event breakfast.
Bicycle racing is not allowed on byways, so it's not a race! It's more of an experiment. Since this is not a race, the results of the experiment will be given in alphabetical order, and no prizes will be awarded.
All participants in the Man v Bike experiment are required to wear a high-visibility tabbard (supplied) during the event and to wear a bike helmet.
Thanks to local clubs and runners for their support!
iPods/MP3s strictly not allowed! Be aware of your surroundings at all times!
"Man v Bike is the 'race' that me and my brother have been waiting for to settle all unspoken arguments and questions and shift the balance of brotherly power for ever. Or else that the loser will have to buy lunch: 2 brothers definitely interested." A. Locke
The inaugural Man v Bike Experiment successfully took place on 9 October, albeit only with five participants. Their accounts of their experiences are below. Two participants went completely off course, but had a great time all the same. Of the remaining three particpants, only Martyn Sharp beat his fastest time on the run course (Leith Hill Half), while Matthias Eng and Charles St Aubyn were slower on the bike course - but not by a large margin.
Conclusion? With better course marking (by the organiser), it should be possible for more participants to complete the course correctly, and given that there was a spread of bikers that were both faster and slower than their run times, this bike course appears to be a candidate for an equal test of 'Man v Bike' when compared to run times on the Leith Hill Half course.
A future event might compare the times taken by bikers and runners and apply a 'fudge factor' so that half of participants were faster on the bike, and half ended up being faster on the run.
We sincerely thank all participants on this highly unusual athletic experiment!
Matthias Eng (Run 2:06 vs Bike 2:27:17)
Martin Riddle (Run 2:11:48 vs Bike 2:51:29)
Martin Sharpe (Run 2:04:01 vs Bike 1:55:35)
Charles St Aubyn (Run 1:53:00 vs Bike 2:19:44)
Pau Yin Wong (Run 2:29:01 vs Bike 2:09:07)
Below - Man v Bike final bike course video (25 minutes, HD) use 'cog' icon to vary video resolution.
A word about risk, roads and the course
Risk is everywhere - in your house, in your bed, in your kitchen. Once you leave the house, and climb on your bike, risk changes, but it's still there. When you ride, you have to watch out and take care of yourself. When you go fast, you have to take even more care - but the risk will increase all the same. Risk can be reduced, but it cannot be eliminated. Riders in the Man v Bike must take care at all times - the ROADS WILL NOT BE CLOSED*. The course has been designed from the outset to have inherently reduced risk - there are no right hand turns on roads anywhere along the course. However, you must be aware that vehicles can enter the course from the left (for example from driveways or from roads coming in from the left-hand-side) or right and that cars may be present in the carriageway that you are riding along (for example due to over-taking something in the opposite lane).
There is a real risk of moderate or severe injury or death involved in taking part in practically any activity - including this event. But please don't let that put you off!
In addition, all riders must obey the rules of the road and Highway Code - you must give way at all relevant junctions (particularly when joining the road course, when turning left onto the B2126/Lake Road and when turning left at Ockley). At all other times, riders must proceed with due care and consideration for other road or byway users.
Inconsiderate or dangerous riding will result in disqualification.
Absolute politeness to all other users of the course is required at all times - any rudeness to other users will also result in disqualification.
*Roads are not closed due to the impracticality of closing roads and to avoid inconvenience to local residents. In consequence, ride more carefully!
A Man v Bike Discussion (on Runner's World) charting the genesis of the event... (thanks to contributors for thoughtful insights!)
Organised by Conferio Ltd
manvbike at trionium dot com