I rode to the time trial in the perfect conditions on Tuesday afternoon. Light winds, sunny, dry, a gorgeous day all around. After careful depilation of the legs to avoid shaving off my road rash, I donned my new "Grape Crush" skinsuit, packed my backpack with some essentials and filled a couple bottles with 1/2 Coke and 1/2 H20. Heading out, I had a few feelings of doubt, and resolved to accept the fact that it would not be my best result at this 14.3 miles around the Scituate Reservoir. My hand was (and still is) swollen and achy right behind the knuckles. Earlier in the day I snipped the stitches and removed them. I actually pulled one of them the wrong way and lodged the quadruple knot deep into the scab- and then had to fish it out with the pointy end of my Swiss Army knife. Ouch. I popped a couple Advil, a B vitamin and a multi vitamin and set out toward Crazy Corners. The one aero advantage I took with me (besides the skinsuit- if that even counts) is my Louis Garneau aero helmet. I had used it once before and it really didn't make a difference. Today though, I was racing with an injured hand and nursing road rash, so I justified that the helmet would make me Even-Steven. One other difference- I had my 1600 gram Easton race wheels instead of my heavy Powertap wheel. Overall about a one pound difference, but mostly at the hub, not a rotational weight difference. One other ommission- no Power wheel means no power data. I haven't had any of that since I fell down at Wells..
Long story short, this TT hurts like a bastard. The climbs are short but challenging A couple are deceiving- you think you're done but then realize that you still haven't crested. The 2nd climb and the 5th climb are the hardest. My approach is to do the whole thing in the big ring, gain big time on the climbs. I pay dearly for this after cresting because it's tough to get back to top speed on the descents with legs that have been redlining for the past 2-3 minutes. I make up for this by getting into the most miniature tuck as I possibly can on the steeper descents (except for the last one- you really have to power down the backside of that one and ideally spin out the 53x11- it's not a steep descent so it needs some input) For whatever reason, maybe a local triathlon on the weekend, a lot of the big engines passed on this weeks TT. There weren't any leg breakers doing it and so it looked as though I could fall ass-backwards into the fastest time. This motivated me because if I was to have the fastest time, it needed to be a respectable time. As it turned out, my hand did not slow me down. The helmet made a difference. The wheels saved me lots of seconds. The diluted Coke was a good choice for hydration- it always agrees with me. My previous attempt was 38:56 (3 weeks prior). This week's result was 38:06. Woo-hoo! Good enough to stand as the 2011 season-to-date record, fwiw. I'm sure it will be smashed next week, but who cares? I'm way faster than my peak form in 2010, and it's only May. Cool.
Now if only I can get Providence Bike to correct the results so that my last name is correct!
Next time you are looking for a challenging Tuesday afternoon workout, head out to the Scituate Time Trial sponsored by Providence Bicycle. It's free and the first rider rolls off at 6:00. All abilities welcome.
Thanks for reading.