An evening with pro cyclist Dan Bigham
He has been referred to as the Subversive Cyclist; you might call him a maverick but Dan Bingham has also been described as a marginal gains guru. What is obvious is that Dan likes to push the envelope and challenge the status quo. People like Dan exist in sport - think Kevin Pietersen, Danny Cipriani, Joey Barton to name a few. Their stories are always interesting and when Dan promised there would be no red lines, we knew we were in for an entertaining evening!
Dan certainly didn’t disappoint. He took us through his HUUB Wattbike days, cocking a snook at British Cycling and the UCi by entering world cup events as a trade team and trouncing the established international squads. Arguably he and his team were such a thorn in the side of the UCi that they changed the rules to ban trade teams.
Dan has certainly rocked the GB cycling establishment; always wanting to know more; to challenge traditions and prescribed thinking. Some might say he’s a square peg in a round hole. But as the evening wore on, what shone through was Dan's passion for going faster, and his fascination with the science behind speed. With a background in aerodynamics, that probably isn’t a surprise. His laser focus on riding position, skin-suits and helmets and more importantly their interaction might put him in the “geek” category for some but there is no doubting the impact the time spent poring over spreadsheets has had on performance.
Dan’s palmares and the medals he’s amassed are testament to the success he has had in translating his obsession into success, whether on the road or the track. This was further evident in the recent World Championship 4000m pursuit, with the Danish team which Dan coaches breaking the record no less than three times in 24 hours. One suspects those results raised some uncomfortable questions in Manchester, where all faith seems to be being placed in the new Hope track bike.
With a preference for the track over the road, it was probably no surprise that Dan rides by numbers, not feel. On the road he’s nervy dodging street furniture at 60km per hour (so are we!) and his insight on the importance of bike handling skills, honed through cyclocross and mountain biking, as a differentiator in the peloton go some way to explaining the recent successes of the likes of van Aert, van der Poel, and our own Tom Pidcock.
After a challenging 2020, Dan is now preparing to take on the hour records, both at sea level (held by Bradley Wiggins) and altitude (held by Victor Campenaerts). We certainly wish him well and will be following with interest as he continues to push the envelope in pursuit of those world records. We will also be watching how the Danes perform at the Tokyo Olympics and how his Ribble Weldtite team do this season on the Continental pro circuit. By the end of the evening there could be little doubt that Dan would be leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of speed!
In his book, Start at the End, Dan uses his own story as well as wider examples and case studies from the worlds of business, personal development and other sports to demonstrate how this approach can help you succeed in any walk of life.
You can see what it is all about via the link here.
WATCH THE RECORDING