Even though it meant getting up at 3:45 am yet again, I returned to Carlisle, Pennsylvania today for my second time trial through the countryside between Shippensburg and Carlisle with the intention of improving on my previous time of 1:03:47. It was a beautiful morning and the hot temperatures promised for the day were not in much evidence when I rolled out on the course at 8:00 am. The wind was a bit less than on the previous run and I had some hope of reaching the 60 minute mark for the 40 kms. I started out strongly on the three little hills that mark the beginning of the course, and even passed my 30 second man a mere 2:43 into the course--he had to be having mechanical issues--but I could feel that I was running out of steam halfway through the course. I reached the 2o km mark at 34 minutes and I thought that I would have a big fight on my hands to do the return stretch in 26. Almost, but no cigar as I crossed the line in 1:02:53. My average heart rate was 160 bpm, max 175, which was about 10 bpm higher in both cases than the previous race. Considering that one of the other riders clocked a time of 1:00:02 and hence did not get the special "40 km in 1 Hour" t-shirt, I guess it could have been worse!
Getting ready to roll out (left)
(all photos courtesy of M-J Oboroceanu)
The slow recovery ride back after the finish
When I rode last month I met Joao Correia, a former pro rider in Europe who is now Associate Publisher of Bicycling magazine. He came second in the time trial last month on his beautiful Pinarello Montello and this month he won the time trial with another outstanding performance.
He was very helpful in answering my questions about time trialling and is certain that with a skinsuit and a better front wheel I will make good the time to get me to an hour. He was very generous with his advice and I have a lot of things to think about now. Joao had not raced for ten years but has lost 30 pounds in the last 18 months and clearly has not lost any speed.
Joao and me: bike guys talking equipment (left)
The latest Pinarello: the F4:13, as supplied to Joao and Alejandro Valverde