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  • The Knowledge: Rohan Dennis on the need for speed

    Posted on

    Featuring Mini Coopers, Ducatis, the Hour Record, and Willis the Akita

    Photographs: Benedict Campbell
    Rohan Dennis

    Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) and Willis

     

    It’s a 1998 Mini Cooper. It has hit 165kph, that I know of, but it gets a bit of wobble in the front end at that speed… We got it in 2014.

     

    I probably drive my Ducati motorbike slower than I ride my bike. I know how dangerous it can be and it’s not really worth it.

     

    I don’t think I am OCD, but I might be on some kind of spectrum. I count a lot, but it is always in fives. I don’t know why. The radio volume has to be on five, ten, 15, whatever. Same with the TV. I always try to get up stairs in multiples of five. Our house has six, ten, ten, then three. But if I go from the garage, I try to make it 15.

     

    I will count pedal strokes on training rides and in races. The whole thing I thought about during my Hour Record was: hold, float, pedal and accelerate out of the bend. For 209 laps. Over and over.

     

    Mentally, you are fried after a Grand Tour. Completely gone. I was more tired after any Grand Tour I have finished than after the Hour. But I couldn’t sit on a saddle for four days after. And sitting generally was difficult. If not for the saddle issues, I could do it again the next day. I might not perform as well, I might do better – I don’t know – but it’s like a big time-trial. That’s all it is, really.