It’s been a long season so far. I don’t know if I’m in good shape or not. I participated in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Time Trial on June 9, 2010 in the Category 3 group. I got to the track early enough to register, get a start time assigned, and then have a solid warm up. I don’t like riding a trainer so I warmed up on the small track inside the big track. I immediately noticed two things….people warming up on TT bikes not using their aero bars (which I can’t understand) and the wind. It was pretty obvious that we had a big headwind going all the way down the home stretch between turn number 4 and turn number 1. It was the most wind I had experienced in the 3 years that I’ve been doing the TT.
I decided to start fairly easy and back off on the back stretch with the tailwind and try to hold my speed on the front stretch into the headwind. It was the windiest I’ve seen it in the past three years. On lap 5, I was going 23mph at one point. The last two laps were pretty painful. I managed to run a 21:19 which was good enough to win the Cat 3 category and finish 16th overall. In Shape?…thinking I am….
The following Saturday I decided to race the Over 30 criterium in Salisbury, NC. I figured most of the big hitters would have run the Category races the night before. Boy was I wrong. I knew I was in trouble when I saw some of the guys that smoke the Masters races line up. The course had 7 turns and the finishing stretch was uphill with a small steep bridge (Imagine an oversized speed bump) about a 1/3rd of the way up. I was pretty confident that I was going to be able to hang with the main group for most of the race. Well, I managed to hang on for about 4 laps or 8.5 minutes. We were going 28mph up the final stretch. I popped pretty quickly, I just couldn’t get my heart rate down. I decided to finish the race or ride until the officials pulled me, whichever came first. I hooked up with another guy and we worked together. We averaged 24mph for 50 minutes on the course — and proceeded to get lapped twice by the leaders!! I’m not sure how some of the guys are so fast for so long. In Shape? Nope….
Here’s a Video of one of the races from the previous night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vYhcVvyMhU
Last weekend I participated in the North Carolina State Time Trial Championships. I was hoping I would do well. But this was another kind of race altogether. Most of the TT’s that I participate in are flat and 10 miles. The State TT was 24 miles long in rolling hills. My plan was to keep my heart rate around 165 and see what happened. The course was definitely challenging and my goal was to break 1 hour. I started the TT and felt pretty good, but as always, the first few miles hurt, especially with a long climb to start the course. I was hoping to see my ‘minute man’ within the first 10 miles. Unfortunately I didn’t. Because of that, my head started playing games with me and I thought for sure I’d get caught by the guy that started behind me. About 15 miles into the ride, I saw a rider in front of me so I had a carrot to chase…finally.
I put my head down and kept getting closer to the rider in front of me. I managed to catch him on an uphill right after ‘the wall’. I was concentrating on getting ready to pass him when we crested the hill and started down the backside of the hill. There was a 4 way stop with a police officer controlling traffic. The officer pointed to the left and I followed the rider in front of me to the left — which was the WRONG WAY…. The police officer never said a word. I realized there was something wrong when I came to the next intersection a few miles down the road and there were no markings or signs. But I wasn’t thinking straight and turned right on the road I had driven in on. After another mile or so I turned right into the school where we started and knew it was bad. We finished on the wrong side of the Start/Finish. I rode the course backwards to see if I could figure out what happened. When I got to the intersection, I knew what was wrong. The cop said he didn’t know if we were racing or just riding…yeahhhh Anyways, the race director put the marker painted on the street on the hill about halfway down – by that time I was concentrating on the intersection and relying on the officer to point me in the right direction. Soo…long story short…I ended up with a horrible official time but would have had a solid overall time if I hadn’t been misdirected. Can you say BUMMER…