About this project
Cyclist Molly Shaffer Van Houweling holds the current U.S. record for the farthest distance covered in an hour of cycling on the track. On September 12, 2015, she will attempt to break the world record (officially known as the "UCI Hour Record"). Read the VeloNews coverage here.
Molly's previous hour records have been webcast live--but with varying degrees of success due to hardware/software/and Internet glitches. For the world record attempt, Molly's team would like to hire a professional webcasting crew with a foolproof Internet connection (and backup). The webcast will include commentary and on-screen timing so fans know throughout the attempt whether she's on pace to break the record. Want to watch Molly make history? Kick in what you can! Because the current record is 46.065 km, we figure $4607 is a nice round figure for our funding goal! If we raise more than that we'll be able to add more features, higher quality video, and extra reliability to the livestream.
Every contributor of $25 or more will receive a "Team Tortuga" temporary tattoo symbolizing Molly's love of deceptively speedy turtles--or "tortugas" as we'll be calling them while in Mexico. Tweet a picture of your tattoo to @mollysvh #MSVHour to send your speedy vibes her way!
Details about the event:
Molly Shaffer Van Houweling will attempt to break the UCI Hour Record on September 12, 2015, at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She will be the second female rider to go after cycling’s iconic record since its rules changed in May 2014.
Van Houweling is the current holder of the US Hour Record. She is also a five-time UCI amateur road world champion, most recently winning the road race and time trial titles at the 2014 UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Ljubljana, Slovenia. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Van Houweling started racing with the Ann Arbor Velo Club. She now lives in Berkeley, California, where she is Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She is a long-time member of Metromint Cycling, a racing team based in the San Francisco Bay area.
Van Houweling’s attempt on the UCI Hour Record comes 60 years after the first mark (38.473km) was set by Soviet athlete Tamara Novikova in 1955. The existing record of 46.065km was established in Mexico City in 2003 by the then World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, of the Netherlands.
In May, 2014, the UCI took steps to modernize and simplify the rules for the UCI Hour Record; the record can now be tackled using any bicycle that conforms to the rules for endurance track events. Following the rule change, the men’s record has been broken five times, most recently by Sir Bradley Wiggins on June 7, 2015 (54.526km). The only female rider to attempt the record since the rule change was Dame Sarah Storey, who rode 45.502km on February 28, 2015 – setting a new British record but falling short of van Moorsel’s mark.
UCI President Brian Cookson welcomed the latest attempt: “I am delighted that another athlete will make an attempt on the women’s UCI Hour Record,” he said. “Last December, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the US Hour Record, which had stood for 24 years. It will be very exciting to see what she can achieve in her attempt at the World Record.”
Regarding her upcoming attempt, Van Houweling said: “It is an honor and an immense challenge to take on the most epic record in all of cycling. I have had several opportunities to ride on the track in Aguascalientes, and I know that it is a fantastic facility. Mexi co has a special place in the UCI Hour Record history, as the site of records by Eddy Merckx, Jeannie Longo, and Leontien van Moorsel. I hope my upcoming attempt will be part of that proud history.”
Risks and challenges
The livestreams for Molly's previous attempts have varied in quality due to several factors: the quality of the video, the quality of the Internet connection, and the availability of team members to deal with the livestream on top of all of the other elements of the event. The kickstarter funding will go toward improving each of these factors by bringing a professional team to Mexico focused exclusively on capturing video, streaming it using multiple redundant Internet connections, and not letting any other distractions get in the way! There is always the potential for a freak power outage or some other last minute mishap that will compromise the livestream. But we would like to do everything possible to produce a reliable, high quality viewing experience for fans at home--to watch live and also after the event. If we raise money beyond our goal we'll build in even more quality and redundancy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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