Putah Creek Time Trial : PCSD#2

I fitted an upgraded seat on my Catrike 700 today that is considerably more comfortable and practical proposition for the DMD at the end of the month. I also fitted a rear wheel disk cover to get ready for Saturday’s beat the clock TT where I hope to beat my event record set in 2008 (27m48s). It seemed a shame not to do a test run on the trike before Saturday so I took it out for the Putah Creek Smack Down (PCSD#2) 10 mile TT.

The weather was unseasonably cool and there was a strong head/ cross wind on the outward leg that made it hard to even keep up 20MPH on the trike. It was definitely quicker on the return leg but not super fast on the trike and 30MPH was not really on the cards as a sustained effort.

For the event itself I opted for a skinsuit and regretted it as I never really warmed up. It was particularly cold waiting for my start and lots of riders were complaining about it.  This week I continued my 2012 Putah theme of following world/National champions and started off 30 seconds behind Lesley Jensen (current US Masters XC MTB champion). My wife started off 1 minute in front as a carrot but I knew she was on form after her 2nd place in the Top Sport Stage Race at the weekend.

The wind on the way out was really hard and I ended up pushing a little harder than normal over the first mile. As I hit the 1 mile marker I was in the pain cave and a little short of breath which was not a good situation as this was the worst part of the wind.  Mile 1 to 2 was really hard and possibly the hardest I have ever encountered on Putah. I managed to keep over 20MPH but it was a major struggle and I was making little progress on catching the  two ladies in front.

The 90 degree corner at 3.5 miles was a bit gravely and  I under-steered quite a bit but this was no problem on the trike. Normally the next 0.5 miles are quite fast and I always up one gear, but tonight I simply couldn’t push a bigger gear and my speed still hovered around 22MPH.  The last mile to the turn was also a struggle into the wind and I was was very relieved to hit the return leg. I was hoping I hadn’t cooked my goose on the way out.

The tail wind was definitely apparent on the way back but it never felt as spectacular as I was expecting. I don’t think recumbents have as much of an advantage in a tail wind as there isnt as much sail to be blown. The first mile back felt really fast but I only managed to keep up around 26MPH and after a spectacular drift on the 90 degree gravelly turn It got hard again and I was unable to keep over 25MPH. I dug deep in the hope that as the course direction changed at mile 8 I would have the super tailwind. The tailwind I was hoping for came at mile 8 and I upped the gears and pushed as hard as I could for the finish.  I couldn’t manage 30MPH but did keep around 29MPH and finished in a time of 25m17s (14 seconds slower than my personal best). I didn’t manage to catch either of the riders in front of me but you can see from my photograph (taken with about 1.5 miles to go) I was trying really hard.

Comparison of Heartrate vs my personal best (8/24/2011):

I felt that  I could not have gone any harder tonight but my pulse trace shows that from 2.5 miles my pulse was significantly lower than my personal best ride.  This difference is most noticeable over the last 3 miles where even though I was pushing as hard as I could my pulse rate was quite subdued.  I don’t know if it was the cold which definitely had an impact on my breathing or I was just fatigued. I did a really hard ride on the noon crit yesterday including some breakaways and this is likely to be the culprit.

Comparison of Speed vs my personal best (8/24/2011):

Perhaps the more generously padded seat hurt my power output today but I don’t really think it did.  There are some significant areas on the above speed traces where I was slow tonight. Of Particular note was the section from 2.5miles to the turn and 6.5 miles to  8 miles where I really struggled.  The only area where I was significantly faster was over the last two miles where I really felt the tail wind. I was a bit disappointed with my time  but  I reckon I can crack 25 minutes on the Trike on a better night. I am definitely not on the same form as I was when I did my P.B but it is early season yet and the important thing is I have really got my enthusiasm for the trike back (I am so glad I never sold it).

Lesley Jensen managed 25m35s and my wife 25m44s. Fellow recumbent rider peter did 25m36s in his mango.

Previous Trike Times on Putah Creek:

8/24/2011 – 0:25:03 (23.95) – 164bpm (175Max)
6/23/2010 – 0:25:52 (23.2) – 174bpm (185 Max)
5/12/2010 – 0:25:55 (23.15) – 166bpm (183 Max)

Link To Official Results.

  • Result: 29th
  • Winner: Paul Mach (20m48s)
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