Monday, July 30, 2012

Bike the Bruce Time Trial

There's not much to write about for a Time Trial. You start, you go as fast as you can for 45 min, and you finish. But I did finish 3rd in my category so that's something to write about.

The Bike the Bruce TT was scheduled the week following the Road Provincials and since I had tapered for that race, I had to train through this race. That meant a 125 km ride the day prior to the event on top of an already hard week of training.

According to Google Maps, the travel time from Brampton to Wiarton, where the race was being held, was 3 1/2 hours which seemed a long drive for a 45 min race. But my folks live in Kincardine which is a more reasonable 1 hour 40 min drive from the race site. I was due for a visit with my folks anyway so I elected to spend the night in Kincardine and drive the 1 hour 40 min to the race site Sunday morning.

It was already quite hot when I arrived at the race site about 10:45 am. I parked the car, registered, put the wheels on my TT bike and took the bike through pre-check. Precheck at my previous TT race, the Mississippi Grand Prix, revealed that my handlebar extensions were about 5 cm too long so I had cut them back by 5 cm the Friday previous. To my delight, my bike passed pre-inspection. So, back to the car I went to climb into my skin suit.

After donning my skinsuit, I headed my bike towards the park entrance for a warmup ride. On the way, I ran into Stan so I waited for him and we did our warmup ride together. About 5 minutes before my scheduled start time, I took my bike back once again for the "official" inspection this time. To my horror, I was told that the disc cover on my rear wheel was illegal. Mercifully, the commissaries let this infraction go but warned that in future my disc cover, which amounts to a poor man's disc wheel, would not be allowed. So, instead of $100 for the cost of my real wheel disc cover, I'd be looking at $3000 for a Zipp disc with built in Powertap. I guess I'll be using my deep dish race wheels from now on.

My "race" started at 12:22 pm. I quickly built up speed and then settled into the wattage I thought I could maintain for the 45 min I expected it would take me to complete the 30 km course. The course was an out-and-back with a turn-around at the 15 km mark. With a tail wind plus a couple of downhills, one of which had an 8% gradient, I completed the first half of the course in 20 min and was able to maintain my target wattage. The return trip was somewhat less successful. I passed the rider who had started a minute ahead of me within a km of the turn-around but then hit about an 8 km section where I lost concentration or something because my average watts for this section of the course dropped between 20-25 watts from what I was able to maintain for the first half of the course. Add to that a head wind which seemed to come at me from different directions and a couple of hills, one of which had a nasty 8 % gradient, and the return section was definitely more challenging than the front section. Finally, upon cresting the final climb, I emptied the tank and powered over the final 1.5 km, covering the course in 45' 19". As I crossed the line, I heard the announcer say I had moved into 3rd place. With a few riders starting after me, I wasn't sure whether my 3rd place would hold up but indeed it did.

Staying out of the wind.

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