The temperatures were very pleasant for this weeks Putah Creek Smackdown and my chosen steed was the Catrike 700. April is trike month for me with several time trials culminating in a rather foolish attempt to finish the Devil Mountain Double on a trike. My goal for the evening was to beat 25 minutes which was also one of my season goals.
On the warmup I was disappointed to find a particularly strong cross wind for much of the course. My best estimate of the wind direction direction is shown below. I reckon that the wind from that direction is just about the worst direction possible for this course. The best condition would be from the West so that you get a nice tailwind back.
I set off number 5 (One minute behind my wife) but had no world champions to chase this time (see PCSD#1 and PCSD#2) reports. I knew I had to average 24MPH plus to achieve my goal so I decided to ensure I kept above 24MPH no matter how hard the wind was. The wind however was very hard but I managed to keep my goal pace until around 2.5 miles (On the map the course veers slightly Southwards) where things got even harder and I saw my speed dropping off without any ability to get it back up. Fortunately I had the tailwind section around mile 4 to 5 to get my pace back but I was hurting bad. Along this section I was passed by many of the faster riders like I was stopped. The 90 degree turn at mile 3.5 was pretty gravelly and I slid quite dramatically which shook me up a bit especially as a car coming the other way was cutting the corner (I need to take more care in future).
The turn round at 5 miles went well and I pushed hard to get my speed up for the return leg but the wind again made things really hard. Fortunately the nearer the finish I got the easier the wind became and my speed slowly kept increasing all the way to the finish. The wind seemed to bizzarely change to a headwind for the last 200m and it took a huge effort to keep above 27MPH. I managed to finish in a time of 24m49 seconds which was a new personal best for the trike and my season goal. I didn’t manage to catch my wife who did a 25m20s and a course personal best too (good job Sandra!).
Comparison of my Speed vs Previous Personal Best :
Comparison of my Pulse vs Previous Personal Best:
My heartrate on PCSD#3 was an indication that I am a little fatigued or not fully recovered from Sundays event. Despite my perception that I was absolutely hammering myself, my pulse did not continue to climb normally from mile 3 and the pulse trace made it look like I wasn’t trying as hard as normal. It was rather puzzling that it did rise up to normal racing levels over the last half mile so perhaps I really wasn’t pushing hard enough.
Previous Trike Times on Putah Creek:
8/24/2011 – 0:25:03 (23.95) – 164bpm (175Max)
4/4/2012 – 0:25:17 (23.73) – 160bpm (174Max)
6/23/2010 – 0:25:52 (23.2) – 174bpm (185 Max)
5/12/2010 – 0:25:55 (23.15) – 166bpm (183 Max)
- Result: 37th –
- Winner: Kevin Metcalfe (20m33s)
A few years back I had thoughts of trying to do the WWRA unfaired trike hour record but after much testing I realized that I didnt have a hope of meeting the 25MPH bogey speed. Now I have cracked 24MPH over 10 miles it makes me wonder if I could crack 25MPH on Putah Creek and perhaps then think about having a go at the hour. 25MPH will be my goal for 2013. I think beating that 25MPH bogey time will probably require a considerable ammount more time and dedication to training than I have to give. I also think that I would need to find a large oval to attempt the record on. The Catrike 700 suffers from way too much speed scrub on a velodrome.
I am going to attempt the Putah Creek 40K on the trike next Wednesday and this should give me a better benchmark for my speed over an hour. In many ways riding a 40K TT 3 days before the Devil Mountain Double is an insane thing to do but I am hoping it will help me to peak. I plan on really cutting back on the volume and intensity of training for the next 6 days to allow my body to recharge it’s batteries. I think the 40K will be good final prep.