NSW rider Andrew Hughes has taken a drastic approach to this weekend’s round of the BMX Australia National Series in Cairns, opting to race without a front wheel in the pursuit of improved speed.
After moving into the elite men’s class at the beginning of the year Hughes is yet to stand on the podium, but will take self-assurance out of the last round in Bathurst, where he placed sixth in the Probikx series and fourth in the Grands Assault.
With the 2017 BMX Australia National Championships scheduled to take place later this month in Brisbane, Hughes said that a win in Cairns would be a boost to his confidence, before outlining the science behind his decision to race on just one wheel.
“I always knew that coming into the elite men’s class would be tough, and I was prepared for a big step up this year,” Hughes said.
“A win in Cairns, on the first of April no less, would be a great assurance for me ahead of the nationals. However results have not come easy this year. So for this round I am ditching my front wheel. I’m something of a wheelie master, so it won’t be too much of an upset to my riding style.
“At the end of the day it’s just like, simple physics you know. The less contact your bike has with the ground, the faster you will go. I will have less rubber touching the surface, causing less friction, so will most likely have superior speed to guys I am racing.”
Science aside, Hughes also said that he drew inspiration from childhood hero Samuel Langhorne Clemens when making the decision to change the way he would set up his bike for the weekend.
“Ever since I can remember I have always been an admirer of the writer, humourist, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer Samuel Langhorne Clemens…better known to most by his pen name Mark Twain,” Hughes clarified.
“Clemens has often been quoted as saying ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect’. After some close, but not close enough results in Bathurst I did just that.
“The majority of riders use two wheels, after deep reflection I will only need one.”
The fourth round of the National Series commences with the Chambikx/Probikx UCI event at 3:30pm local time today. The Grands Assault will take place at 9:45am local time tomorrow.