Friday 6 June 2008

Time Trial Boy Returns!

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!


Will said...

well done, progress!

Judi said...

Sounds good. How many miles was that?

We have a time trial here on Tuesday nights. It's 10 miles. I need to go and do it soon.

Sprocketboy said...

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! The course is 9.3 miles and fairly flat, with a little hill at the turnaround and no traffic or sidestreets. It is really enjoyable to ride these races but I was used to the standard 40 km (25 mile) courses in the States, which allow you to get started more slowly and conserve your strength over a much longer time. On a course this short you really have to sprint out of the saddle right away to get your speed up.

Donald said...

Nice ride! I'm not sure I could swing that. I think you have a better heart rate than me and I haven't turned 40 yet. That sucks... am I not in good shape?

Sprocketboy said...

Thanks, Donald. I think the training is key, although the equipment probably helps as well. The fact that I was only 30 seconds faster on the same course on the same bike a decade ago shows that with enough effort we can slow down the inevitable deterioration of age. The sole competitor in the club's 71+ age group is still 20 seconds faster than me, even when I use the tt bike!