Earlier in the week we posted THIS story about a yellow Schwinn single speed fixed gear set-up bike that was someone's 2009 Kona Ironman Championship ride.
As you might think...we were pretty curious about the bike and the triathlete who rode it.
We wondered out loud who would be crazy enough to ride a fixie for 112-miles, and how the heck they managed to qualify for the World Championships on such a "unique" set-up.
You know...curious minds and all...
Cory posted this comment after we ran the story (see below). So naturally we exchanged a few emails (see also below) to get the full scoop on his wild and crazy Ironman championship Kona ride.
Here's his story. Check out Cory and the Schwinn...now and then:
"i never used the fixie to qualify. this was my fifteenth ironman hawaii finish, in seven age groups. i have significant experience qualifying and 45 ironman finishes in the bank. this 32 pound fixie was a second pass at the 1996 ironman hawaii when i rode a 61 pound single speed schwinn typhoon, barefooted - to a finish. no one had ever finished IMH on a fixed gear bike within the cut-offs.
it was not an attempt to get sub-10 hour wind-change beating time, but instead an attempt to do something that had been tried but had never been done.
i was surprised at how incredibly difficult it was. far more difficult than the typhoon, because there was no coasting. i approached a 300 cadence on some of the downhills. IMH has more than fifty short (1 kilometer) hills on the course, and it was a real test. the only reason i finished the run was i knew i would have to do it again sometime if i didn't.
it was great training for my 14th ultraman world championships appearance in november.
Cory also told us about the history of the bike and his lengthy Ironman career:
"here is the 96' bike. this was in competitor magazine and CM online.
i sort of bounced the fixie idea off of some of the wingnuts in the sport, like bob "was that elvis" babbitt from competitor, and got the expected "hey - that sounds like a good idea" fomr them. jimmy riccitello was all for it as long as it was legal, so i added brakes. i normally ride a fixie without brakes.
i also added enough tri gear to make the fixie look like a regular bike at first glance, as it was not so much about getting attention as it was about seeing if it could be done. the beach cruiser, as you can see, was not about blending in. the 1080 zipp on a 280 dollar bike was a hoot. yes, those handlebars are steel - on both bikes. like every other part of both bikes
tough bike for sure. i ran exactly the wrong gearing. in retrospect, i would run 50/14 or something like that. i ran 46/18, and it killed me. if you look at my first splits, i was riding a nice 19, good for sub-6 hours. that is what i told bob i would ride.
but i had never run that bike with a speedometer, so i had no idea that that gearing meant a 135 cadence at 19. somewhere around 90 minutes in my legs began to self-destruct at that cadence, and it was a horror show after that.
of all the ironman events i have raced, i have only one finisher shirt in my drawer. 2009. that was the only IM i ever raced that crushed me like a bug. i am keeping that shirt. it was cool!"