Monday, April 24, 2006

In the books.

One down.

This weekend I finally competed in my first Time Trial, and my first Single Speed race. I had a blast!

In order to save some gas $$, Alden, Paula and I carpooled out to Yankee early Sunday morning. Alden's Sport men's class went off just after 11am, so we had to get on the road by 7:30. That meant a bit of time to kill for Paula and I racing in SS after 1pm. The rain started just after 10:30. It never came down very hard, but was pretty consistant throughout the day. The course had been dry, so the rain was a blessing in that respect, but it did prove to be a challange on the rocks and roots, and many people ate some dirt.

Hearing all the crash reports, I decided the smart plan was to stay upright and do the best I could on the flats and climbs.

Starting 2 by 2, I got the jump on my start partner to be sure I wouldn't have to deal with slow traffic out of the gate. He rode my tire for about the first mile and a half as we passed the rider who went off 30 sec. ahead of us. Gradually he fell off and I was alone. The climbs HURT. I'm not sure what it was, perhaps my lack of riding the week prior, but I was a slug up the hills. I'm sure the slippery conditions didn't help, but they weren't all to blame either. I had no problems cornering, thanks to my Kenda Blue Groove from Cycletherapy. I took it a little easy over some of the sketchier, wet-root infested downhills, but otherwise tried to just keep pushing throughout the course. At about the 7 mile mark I could hear someone approaching. I think he was an Elite rider that started late as he passed fairly strong. I did manage to catch him again as he walked the steep matted climb and I stayed on the bike (at least that answers the age old question of which is faster... ;) ). But he pulled away again quickly. I was alone again for the remainder of the race. I was pretty pleased with the consistancy of my output. There were a couple hills that I took a bit longer to recover from, but overall it wasn't bad. And on the bright side, I know it can be better.. (hellloooooo intervals).

With less than a mile to go I knew I was on pace for a good time. Friends Andy and Erin were in the woods to cheer us on, and the energy from them was just what I needed to finish strong! I was passed by one more Elite rider in the final hundred yards, but sprinted to get back on his wheel at the line. I finished in 51:57. That's 1:30 better than my previous best, and was good for 2nd in the Sport SS class. Not bad for a "just stay up" strategy! Things are looking good for the rest of the season. I'm still waiting for the overall results to see how I finished among the entire field. I'll be happy with top 1/2.

Great riding to everyone that raced this weekend!! Hope to see ya at Addison in 3 weeks!




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