There is always a lot of discussion amongst ‘us racers’ as to whether or not there is a significant advantage of riding a Time Trial/Triathlon bike in a time trial. Most of us are aware of all the marketing around aero frames, wheels, helmets, position, etc. You know what I’m talking about, this wheel will save you 40 seconds, an aero helmet will save you a minute…
From cyclists to race cars, the motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it. Those forces have both strength and direction and they can be observed and measured to predict future motion. Watch how an aeronautics engineer works with Newton’s three Laws of Motion to test the best posture and helmet for a cyclist in a wind tunnel.
I raced a 10 mile Time Trial on July 23rd at Lowes Speedway. I finished 2nd in the Cat 4 group with a time of 21 minutes and 24 seconds. This was also good enough for 17th overall. So I felt like my fitness was pretty good. This weekend was a big race weekend in Charlotte. There were Criteriums Thursday-Sunday around the area. There was also a Team TimeTrial on Thursday.
This past weekend was the Cackalacky Cup held at Lake Norman State Park. Charlotte Sports Cycling hosts on a Mountain Bike Time trail on the Itusi and Mombo trails. The first TT is on the Itusi loop with some man made obstacles (a skinny, limbo and cones). If you were to fall off the skinny, not clear the limbo or knock over a cone, you were assessed a time penalty.
Proper cyclocross weather finally came to the Carolinas for the last round of the North Meck Cyclocross Series on Tuesday night. Racers were challenged with a wet, windy course and temperatures in the high 30’s. Afternoon rain tapered off before registration opened, but the course got slick and muddy as the night went on. Promoter Neal Boyd setup a slightly less technical course for the conditions, and DeFeet provided some nice prizes for the final round podium finishers.
The North Meck Cyclocross Series kicked off Tuesday night in Huntersville with great weather and a fast dry course for the opening round. For the fourth year of this USAC sanctioned training series, promoter Neal Boyd used a similar course setup from previous years- featuring traditional barriers, wooden stair- step run-ups, and a short gravel section near one of the softball fields. The course winds through several flat grassy areas, but takes advantage of some sidehills and off-camber sections as well. North Meck Park has lights for the softball and soccer fields, and the course is well-lit for night racing.
Charlotte area racers were treated to a tight, technical course for round 2 of the North Meck Cyclocross Series on Tuesday night. The race management crew from Charlotte Sports Cycling added a spiral section, several off-camber turns, and reversed the course direction from last week- providing a good challenge and a much different feel from last week’s course.
I headed to Charleston, SC for a weekend of criterium racing. I left on Friday, April 15th after going for a 25 mile ride in Mooresville. We arrived in Charleston around 6:30 and Leah and Neal arrived shortly thereafter. We all went to dinner and celebrated Neal’s birthdays.
I woke up early (5AM) Saturday morning to help Neal set up the crit course. We arrived at the venue around 5:45AM and started unloading his trailer to get the stage and truss setup. Things were pretty nervous as the forecast was for major winds and rain. We got everything setup with 15 minutes to spare. The good news was that the rain held off and the course started drying up.
Sunday morning started much like Saturday, early. Neal and I left the house right at 5:30AM to get to the criterium course held in Hampton Park next to the Citadel in Charleston, SC. We stopped, got coffee and headed down I17. There was a full moon and it seemed like we were going to drive right up to. One of the coolest moon sets I’ve seen.
We managed to get the Start/Finish Truss and stage set up in record time. The SC Criterium Championship is held on a flat course with two real turns. It’s a super fast 1 mile course.
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 MotorSpeedway 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.
May 11th, 2011 was the 2nd race of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Time Trial Series held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I met Jasen at his house, loaded up his car with our time trial bikes and headed down to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. My start time for the time trial was 7:45pm so I had plenty of time to warm up. I put my Cervelo P3 together, pasted my number on my speedsuit and managed to get about 5 laps on the track before it was closed for the race.
The Tree Shaker 12 Hour race in Fort Mill, SC was my last ‘race’ of the year. Anything from here on out will be for fun.
Last year, my team of Neal Boyd, Scott Streuer and myself took overall honors in the 3 person team event. This year, TJ Wood took Neal’s spot as Neal had timing responsibilities.
The forcast was for wet weather but thankfully, we only had a few sprinkles throughout the day. TJ took the first lap, me the second and Scott took the third lap. The first lap always seems to be the hardest as you are trying to go fast, learn the course and not blow yourself up for the rest of the day. I had a great first lap and was looking forward to a good day.