Windhorst Prevails on the Outdoor Track

“a meaningful purpose for making myself dizzy”
Rider: Bill Windhorst, WUCA member #8439
Bicycle category, division: Standard bicycle, mens 50-59
Start date: September 22, 2012 at 1059
End date: September 22, 2012 at 1558
Elapsed time: 4 hours, 58 minutes, 59 seconds
Distance, average: 100 mi, 20.07 mph
Location: International Velodrome at Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, Michigan
Officials: Jacob Boley, Christopher Gottwald, Brian Bangma
Crew Members: Julie Windhorst, Bob Keller, Kelly Keller, Gene Diggs, Eric Noyes, Mimi Gendreau
Photographers: Don Windhorst, Dave Windhorst, Joaquin Kiley
Afterburners on
Afterburners on

By Bill Windhorst

My attempt was scheduled for Saturday September 22 at the IVBP (International Velodrome at Bloomer Park,) in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The park is located at the end of John R Rd., which is at approximately 24 mile Rd. The track is just over the hill at the back of the main parking lot. After getting all the equipment to the infield and under cover at about 8:15 AM, we were greeted with a few minutes of light rain after earlier morning rains had stopped. I had been watching it closely and expected that shower and a gap between 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM of no rain. The first couple hours stayed in the low to mid 50’s. At about 12:30-2:00, a few patches of blue stayed out and the temperature actually went up to a steamy 60-61. Clouds started back our way, and the thermometer returned to the mid to upper 50’s, which to me was perfect for something like this.

brain trust
Brain trust

With the specially treated wood, 45 degree banked turns, and 10-15 mph winds, (which stayed all day with a few occasional gusts of about 20 mph), I knew the track would be dry or at least be safe to ride by about 10:30-11:00 and it was. After being certain the track was safe we tried just a couple practice starts to double check the chip timing equipment. Then at 10:59 A.M., my attempt was officially under way.

My equipment set up worked out well for the wind conditions. The bike used was a Felt TK2 track bike with Zip 808 wheels and Continental Sprinter sew-up tires. Carbon Stryke Ironman aerobars were added to be more comfortable and of course gain as much in aerodynamics as possible. Both of these items helped out extremely well in the wind. Front ring was a 49 and rear cog was a 15 tooth with which I had trained under similar wind conditions the last few weeks. Traditional road handlebars were used in place of traditional track bike bars for what I as a traditional roadie find to be more comfortable. Only one rear mount seat post bottle cage was added to be able to drink as often as needed with the expectation to get one replacement bottle every hour. It was a real good thing I didn’t need my back–up bike that was an almost identical set up, because it turns out that its rear tire went flat: definitely the most unusual thing of the day.

That bottle cage carried a couple of bottles of Accelerade mix (1 per hour). The last 3 hours I used NUUN and Fizz replacement fluid tablets (1 bottle per hour). As most endurance cyclists know or commonly use, Endurolytes were kept in my pockets to allow me about 2-4 per hour for use with that last swallow or two from each hourly bottle. Just like American Express; I never leave home without them. Another pocket carried about 4-5 ounces of Ensure and grapes. Both were gone and replaced at my first two minute break, which was 2 1/2 hours in (at the rail). A Gu also came in handy at the first break and final one at 4 1/4 hours with good old fashioned water.

What I found to be the best part of the overall event was bringing more awareness to what my wife and I have been doing with Make-A-Wish and Team Sammy, and seeing my wife extremely involved in the loud encouragment with everybody else pushing me under the 5:00 mark.

The most difficult part of this adventure was needing to push 1 or 2 mph. over what I had been riding all day to make it less than 5 hours. The extra 1-2 mph. were calculated with about 20 minutes left when it was determined I was at an exact 5 hour pace or even just a little over. I had really wanted to do an overall sub 5 hour time so you have to do what you have to do. Although the record attempt officially ended when I crossed the line after 804 plus three quarters of a lap, at 3:57 P.M., the event didn’t really end for me. It actually kind of started because I could actually thank everybody that was there at the end and talk about the experience.

Aero all the way
Aero all the way

I had a few reasons for making the attempt. One was bring a little recognition to our track plus set a benchmark for other attempts there. The main reason was that I figured that raising it to the level of a WUCA record might help draw people to the track as a fundraising event. My fundraising was for the Make-A-Wish Ride my wife and I have been doing for the last 4 years. This ride is called the Wish-A-Mile 300. This one ride has raised the most money for any Make-A-Wish event in the country the last few years. It could help our team (Team Sammy) goals, which is the team we ride for. It also gave a meaningful purpose for making myself dizzy. The most important reason behind the M.A.W. ride, as all WAMMERS (nick name for the riders) know was “It’s for the kids”, which was my mantra for the event of this day and those leading up to it.

Editor’s note: For a truly exciting look at how a bicycling community came together to build this velodrome, please visit their web site at

into the grid
Into the grid