02 Aug Tour of Elk Grove Charity TT
This is my third time doing the 4.5 mile Charity TT, ToEG has tagged this event a TT on the flyer, I call it a prologue being such a short distance. We leave the house at 2:00 with Heidi, Rachel, and Kate, Heidi’s plan is to talk to the pro teams about ButtonHole Chamois Creme. Arriving around 3:00, delayed by 2 traffic jams, I go to pick up my number in the school gym and find the only people there are blue shirts, USA Cycling officials with multiple computers wired together looking like a small NASA control room. Saying hello I quickly grab my number and high tail it out of there, not allowing myself to stop and have the long chat, knowing I need a solid warm up.
The skies are overcast spiting drops of rain, temps are about 80 and the roads are staying dry. I set up both bikes like I have countless times before, pin my number on a skinsuit and go start my warm up. I normally bring a trainer for TT warm ups but decide to leave it home today The course is closed to cars so I will ride a few laps planning my attack strategy, where the windy areas can help or hurt, looking for the smoothest parts of road, and most important how fast I can take the corners. I am feeling good on the first lap, never going to hard, adding 3 more laps with 1.5 hot laps, it is now 20 minutes to my start time. Back to the car, change into my skinsuit and all the silly fast gear, grab my TT bike, back to the start/finish area checking the official clock, we are on time, perfect. Now it is time to test the engine room, Finding a nice smooth neighborhood road I turn up the throttle, 32 mph feeling ok, not great but it is early. A few more 30 second hits at 30+ and I see the higher heart rates I have been looking for, off the start house.
I pull into the bike testing area, Dave Fowkes puts my bike in the UCI jig and weighs the P3, 17.26 lb. Nice, and into the start house. I clip into the pedals and someone is holding my upright, unlike local TT’s. I hear 30 seconds, 10 seconds, taking a few deep breaths, 3,2,1, go. Down the ramp starting to bring the P3 up to speed, within 200 meters I see 32 mph, Ok dude, now settle in because here comes the heart rate delay, boom I see 5 beats over my LT still holding good speed I try to relax the pedal stroke as to drop the HR. No chance I am on the first turn already, a 180 dregree dirty turn, so shift to an easier gear, sit up since I need to scrub a little speed, only a little rear lever here, I sweep the turn still holding OK speed. Now is the first painful section, crosswind from the right with no protection, out of the saddle back up to speed, finally the speedo is back to 30 and I am starting to hurt. This is a weird pain, not like a normal TT or a race attack, it is hard to explain except the body is not happy. i pass through the start finish area and the speed clock confirms I am holding 30 mph, now I know we are in trouble, I should be going 31-32 in this section, instead I am forced to slow for about 15 seconds down to 28, not happy. I conserve saving a little for the 2k headwind section that is next. Nailing the right hander I am out of the saddle again to find a little more speed, 27 good but I am slowly watching the speedo drop to 24, this is really bad but the body is winning and am forced to let up slightly, I make it to the next 180 and now have tailwind, back up to speed 32, waiting about 15 seconds to grab a few more gears, 33, 34, perfect, but the last 600 meters of this leg is false flat up loosing a few ticks down to 30, no big deal negotiate the last 180 safely and back into the last 1k section into the hurting wind. Only a mile remaining so I start going full gas and see 28 into the headwind, nice, OK, be careful through this right hand turn it is tight at this speed. Now we are finally on the home stretch, and see the 300 meter sigh, the speedo is saying 32, and with 100 meters I am holding 31 across the line, posting the fastest time 9:29, I hear this and smile, but I know I will lose today since there are two other guys in the field that are fast. I am correct, the winner, John Tuftoy, posts a 9:09 and waxes me, good ride for the 29 year old, while the old man has to settle for 2nd. I have to agree with Ricky Bobby on this,” if you ain’t first, your last!”
Remember, ButtonHole Chamois Creme helps increase the enjoyment of all cyclists, not just racers. See you at Elk Grove.