Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby's Day Out

I haven't ridden a real time trial in almost two years. Sure, I done the duatlhons, but I mean a real, start-off-with-a-holder-set-off-in-intervals time trial

I've been toying with the idea of riding a weekly course myself, using the old boxford course that nebc used to run in the 90's. After reading a couple of Solobreaks posts on the charlie baker time trial, I decided to give it a go, especially since they actually track and place fixed gear results. I love riding time trials on a fixed gear.

So, tuesday night I gave the Kellogg frame with Mavic Challenger disk wheel and 52x16 the once over.

Wednesday I went to the time trial. I haven't ridden this course in maybe 12 years. It hasn't changed much thanks to concord and carlisles zoning restrictions (aka snob zoning).

The guy parked next to me had a fan loader he was warming up on. Damn those things are noisy. How the hell could he stand it? An old friend came by to chat and we had to raise our voices to hear each other, this was _out_ side.

I met a few people I hadn't seen in well over ten years. There were alot more women there than in the past, more people in general than when I used to ride it. A few on the women were quite cute, especially all in their matching NEBC skin suits. Karen Smyers of IronMan Triathlon and cancer survivng fame was also there, as was Skip Foley.

I was rider #46,they had 57 that night. Taking my place on the line, I didn't quite get my pedals set right. Big deal, that might cost me all of one second. I decided not to worry about it.

From 'go', I launched a rolled the 52x16 up to speed. I came right up to 100 rpm, and spun it past up to 110. I noticed my speed read 0. It occured to me that was the one thing I didn't check the night before. My cadence monitor was working, and that is what I was using as the main metric anyways. After the TT I found out the wheel magnet was missing.

The first mile is uphill, but not what one would call a climb. More like a 1% grade. In the old days when the finish was at the top of this rise, it felt like a climb. That was when we did the full loop of 10.8 miles. Now this rise in the first few miles, so it's no big deal. I was keeping a cadence of over 100 all the way, dropping to 90 at the crest. I was feeling pretty good, better than I thought I would. Then a rider came by, flying, Some cars were passing me slower than this dude. he wasn't my 30 second or minute man, I knew both of them, I didn't know this guy, he had to be 1:30 behind me, at least.

I plugged on, still feeling good.

Then I took the right turn onto monument street - it instantly felt like I had hit the brakes. I didn't think there was any wind, and it didn't feel like a head wind, but that would explain why I felt so good heading out.

I was struggling to keep my cadence up at this point. This section is significantly more rolling than the first half. In the early 90's they had moved the start/finish up to carlisle center, so this section was only a couple of miles in. Now that it was at the end, it was more troublesome. Still, pushing the fixed gear over these hills was easier than a regular road bike. Going over the last hill I kept my cadence at 70, not too bad.

From the top of the last hill it's downhill all the way to the finish, except for the last 100 feet or so that goes up to the line. Not having ridden this in over a decade, I held back a little. It may have cost me a couple of seconds, but I wasn't too worried about it. I crossed the line in 23:50, for an average of 24.5 mph. I was quite happy with that. I had gone into it hoping I would break 24 minutes,and I did so.

I have a season goal of breaking 26 mph average on the fixed gear. I think it's do able!

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