Hockenheim With An APB

Racing Moultons or other Smallwheelers is seldom done, and if it is, not in competition with regular bikes. Marco Schuett did so this year at the 12 hour race at Hockenheim.

Hockenheim is the racetrack where they normally race Formula One – the home of Schumi, Montoya and co.

Arriving on Friday night, we got to pitch our tents right in the middle, of the Motodrome. The organizers had arranged  for an  all-you-can-eat pasta banquet that we attended, and then turned in early.

We had a quick breakfast in one of the garages normally used for the racecars. The night before Marco had been given a small transponder to attach to his bike, for counting the participants.

Next Morning, after breakfast the marathon started at 6:00. At the starting line, I noticed, that Marco had forgotten to attach the transponder. It turned out he had left it in the tent, and I had to run back to the tents and get it. By the time we had it attached, and Marco going, the first riders had already done the first lap.

In the pit-stop area, I set up shop behind a concrete barrier where my toolkit, and the other stuff like Granola bars, refilled drinking bottles and spares.

There were some participants that went for the full 12 hours, like Marco while several did the time, as four rider relay teams.

Bike wise, you saw anything from Mountain bikes to Time trial racers. There also was one handicapped rider, on a trike.Marco rode a 1992 APB with my old 62 TA chainwheel, and 12-28 eight sprocket freewheel.

For components, Marco like the gears and brake levers, Marco used Campagnolo equipment.


The road surface was quite fast , Marco later told me, especially riding on 28mm Conti Grand Prix tires pumped up to 10psi (surely a typo!!!!- Ed}.

The organizers had previously wanted to know what kind of a bike Marco was ridding, because they did not allow recumbents.

Slowly the sun came up, and it became a very hot day. I spent my day waiting for Marco to do his laps, that took him about 10 to 15 minutes. I kept filling his bottles for when he needed them, he did several short breaks in between.

Except for one small tightening of the tri-bars, the APB needed no pit stops for repairs. The only accident we had, was when Marco threw me a bottle with a loose lid, and it still had sports drink in it, that I spilled over myself. Because it was a hot day, I simply took a water hose by the roadside, and gave myself a partial shower.

I spent most of the day just standing waiting for Marco , or jumping over the barrier, to get to the track. I also kept busy lending my tools, and helping to fix the bikes of a group that had set up beside me.

As Marco was getting more tired I started cheering him on, and by the end at 1800, he had done 300.5km at an average of 28.2km/h. We would also like to thank Holger Hammel, the German Importer of Moultons. for his support .