Friday 9 May 2008

Time Trial Season Begins

Today I rode my first Ottawa Bicycle Club 15 km Open Time Trial since August 1998. The course was the same and just to see if I have managed to delay the effects of aging I brought my Bianchi Limited with aerobars, the same setup as a decade ago. The course along the Eastern Parkway is well-known to me as it is close to my house, but so is the brutal west wind that never seems to stop blowing.

A big group showed up, including a lot of guys with very high-end time trial bikes, and registration was completed by 6 pm. The first rider went out 10 minutes later, and after a ridiculously short warm-up I headed onto the course at 6:33 pm. There was a tailwind to begin with and I made an amazingly fast start, with my heart rate skyrocketing to 183 bpm. I backed off fairly quickly and tried to control my breathing.

I executed the turnaround pretty sloppily but felt confident turning into the big headwind. Things went pretty well until around the 12 km mark when I began to feel cramping on my right quad, and then my left calf. This meant I had to back off a bit but I did hit 35 km/h when I crossed the finish line.

Although I will wait for the official results, I think I crossed the line close to my time ten years ago, a somewhat snail-like 25:30. That was a ride at the end of the summer when I was in pretty good shape; it is still early season here and pretty cold so I will improve. Of course in subsequent time trials I will switch back to the Leader TT bike, having made my point, whatever it may have been.

It was great fun but my legs really hurt tonight.

Postscript: this morning I checked my official time and discovered that I had finished in the top ten of my age group at 26:21. This is putting the best face on it, since there were nine entrants in the class and I came dead last. In two weeks I will try again, and I will beat my 1998 time for sure!

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