After my rather poor showing at the Ottawa Bicycle Club's 15 Km (9.32 miles) Thursday time trial a few weeks ago, I was determined to do better. Taking Dreadnought, my tt bike, instead of the old steel Bianchi was probably a good idea. I worked a bit more on my warm-up and felt more confident, in spite of all the guys with their super-fast equipment. Around 70 people showed up to ride the course this week.
I had a bit of a fumble at the start. Usually the starter gives a little push, but this one simply let go and I had some trouble getting rolling and staying on the road. I corrected things pretty quickly and got down to business, riding into a 16 km/h headwind dead on. My initial heartrate of 182 dropped to a more reasonable 165 and I felt good.
Since my time trial result was so dismal last time, I was started as No. 10 in the field, up with the newbies. By the time I had reached the turnaround, which I executed with aplomb this time, I had passed most of the people ahead of me. The hoped-for tailwind was actually not very strong, coming mainly from the side, but I accelerated up to a nice steady 40-42 km/h and was able to hold that for a good while back. I began to tire a bit at the 13.5 km mark, but seeing the finish line I cranked it up for a last time and sailed through at 46 km/h. I think my time was closer to 24:00 this time, a big improvement from the 26:30 on the Bianchi, in spite of the wind. Next time I will go full-aero, with the helmet and disc wheel, and see how it goes. I was pleased not to have any cramping so I think my warm-up was a big improvement as well.
Official results are in: my time was 23:52, with an average speed of 37.709 km/h. This put me 13/17 in my age class but with a lot of people in the 23-24 minute slot I expect to jump up a lot of places if I can gain a little time. This is real progress for me since I did not feel overextended at all. By the way, the fastest rider in my group tied the age group class record of 19:56, so I have some way to go! We will see two weeks from now when I try again. And I actually passed every person who started ahead of me!