Doug: he's no slug, finishing second overall
The Ottawa Bicycle Club has regular Thursday night 15 km Open Time Trials, and on Tuesdays has one for women. Both series have now ended for the season but there are occasional 40 km events as well and the final one for 2008 took place today, the first day of Autumn. So, goodbye to summer! I think that the course had been run twice so far this year and someone mentioned to me that it was pretty flat.
I have been suffering from sinusitis for several days and woke up at 3:30 with a splitting headache, that I tried to control with a lot of codeine. I did not sleep very well afterwards so it was pretty miserable to get up at 5:45 am but luckily I had packed the car last night. I drove a short distance to pick up Doug, a fellow-OBCer who needed a ride to the course. It was pretty cold but sunny and the time passed quickly as we drove along the 417 highway and within an hour found ourselves in the village of Fournier. We were probably the first cyclists as we did not see anyone at all around but backtracking we found some of the others and followed them to the little park where we could park and get registered.
After signing up, I set up the trainer and plugged in my MP3 player to warm up. I got so involved that I forgot to pick up my number and get my start time; I noticed a crowd had formed around the registration table so I ran over in my cleats. It was a bit embarrassing as everyone was getting ready to start. My number was 18, indicating I would be the eighth rider out. There were 23 riders, less than the Thursday group but still a good turnout. There were two riders who had come from last week's Ontario championships as the top provincial time triallists in their age categories, among other fast riders.
I was not going to be one of the fast riders. My head was still aching but I was optimistic as I lined up at the start. A good launch and I was off, hitting 47 km/h. Needless to say, this did not last long as I discovered I was heading right into an ice-cold 11 km/h headwind and my speed bled off rapidly.
The course was not really all that flat and I seemed to spend the first 20 kms battling the wind, the rough road (I had thought it was smoother and had really pumped up the tires) and the incline. My turnaround was a bit slow but on the way back I found I could push up the speed to 40-42 km/h at a reasonable heart rate, but I was already very tired from the outbound leg. I passed a few people, and was passed myself right at the finish line. I came 4th out of six riders in my age group, but the first three were very fast.
Waiting for the official times
My time, 1:05:30 was nothing special (although it actually is my fastest 40 km tt of the year!) and as soon as I crossed the line my head hurt brutally, but at least I had one more time trial under my belt. Doug had ridden brilliantly in only his second 40 km time trial ever, and came second overall at 56 minutes. We packed up and a group of the cyclists went to a truck stop near the highway where I enjoyed an enormous cheese and mushroom omelette, hash browns, toast and tea. Although I had had some breakfast at home I was ravenous!
Gunther (blue jacket) and Alex (in yellow) are our dedicated officials
We are very fortunate to be able to ride time trials regularly and I am appreciative of the timekeepers, Gunther and Alex, who keep things working so well. I learned a lot this year in the time trials and look forward to improving next season. The club has a lot of excellent time triallists and I hope to benefit from their experience.