I had originally planned to race tonight on my Catrike 700 as a final shakedown for the Devil Mountain Double this weekend. This morning I spent many hours cleaning, greasing, lubricating and fitting new tires to the Catrike to get it ready for DMD. The weather forecast for Dixon was for rain to start moving in around 5pm and that it may get really heavy later on. There was no way I was going to risk getting the Catrike wet and dirty so it got to spend the evening in a nice dry garage instead.
I decided to ride the Bacchetta Corsa even though I haven’t ridden it since the Mega Monster Enduro on February 11th. I have done quite a few wet races on the Corsa and it is not a bad wet racing platform so it was a natural choice. My p.b. on the Putah Creek 40k course was also set on this bike so it would be a nice comparison of my form.
If you look at my two postings of a couple of days ago you will see that I went a little mad with p.b, hill climb chasing over the weekend on the Catrike and Musashi. Unfortunately I paid dearly for these efforts and I woke up on Monday morning with a moderate flare up of my old IT band injury (I really did a number on my IT band on the 2009 Devil Mountain Double and was in so much pain that I physically couldn’t walk for 3 days until the doctor got me on some amazing drugs). I completely shut down on the training and only did light commute rides on Monday and Tuesday coupled with lots of work with a foam roller and anti inflammatory’s. I actually felt a little sore before tonight’s event but for some reason the position on the Bacchetta didn’t seem to bother my IT band at all (wonder what tomorrow morning will bring) and it wasn’t an issue at all.
The weather was actually warm and dry but the skies were very dark for the event. I felt OK on the warm up and was amazed how familiar the Bacchetta felt despite not having ridden it for so long. The wind was a troublesome crosswind again that was generally harder on the way out than it was on the return. It certainly did not feel like it was going to be an easy night. I think the weather had put lots of people off as there were not many racers at the start. The Putah Creek 40K course is two laps of an out and back 20K route. This means three 180 degree turns and 4 ninety degree turns.
My goal for the evening was to beat the hour so I knew I had to hit turn 1 at <15minutes, Turn two at <30mins and Turn 3 at <45mins to achieve that. I thought the easiest way to do that was to ensure my speed stayed above 25MPH. I set off a little fast and was winded at the first mile (I caught my 30 second rider at about the 0.75 mile point) but 25MPH+ was still looking good until I hit the bit by the Olive trees and 25MPH became a major fight. I was shocked to get passed by Kevin Metcalfe at about 4.5 miles (he set off 1m30 behind me) but it is to be expected as he is the US National Masters 40K champion. I tried my best to up my pace to keep him in sight but he was much stronger than me. At the first turn (10K) I got really badly held up when two cars going in opposite directions actually stopped next to the turn round cone to ask the CHP officer what was going on. I reckon I lost at least 15 seconds here trying to negotiate the traffic mess.
The traffic incident put fire in my belly and all thoughts about just beating the hour went out of the window, I was going for a p.b. The return leg 10k to 20k was definitely faster, although I found myself in that uncomfortable situation of finding 7th gear too low and not quite having the strength to push 8th (note to self: Get a closer ratio cassette on the Corsa for Putah creek). I made the turn in less than 30 minutes so I knew that beating the hour was still on the cards.
The 20-30k leg seemed even harder than the first time but I could push harder as I was better warmed up. I got caught by another rider at the same place Kevin caught me but he didn’t pull away so much on the way to the 30K turn. I was also passed by Greg in his Velomobile like I was stood still (amazing beast that Quest). I rounded the 30K turn with no incidents this time in <45 minutes and was determined to try to reel the guy who passed me back before the finish. Despite feeling overgeared I could see a definite speed bump whenever I selected 8th so I kept it in that gear as much as possible on the way back. I noticed the tailwind more on the run in to the finish and was between 29-32 MPH for most of the last 3 miles. The last 1k was torture and the finish line seemed like it would never come.
My time was 57m02s which was a new course personal best and I am pretty sure I would have gone sub 57m if I hadn’t had the problems at the turn. I also took the 90 degree turns very carefully tonight as I didn’t want to have a spill before DMD. Those turns are so much more fun on the trike but the Bacchetta is a better TT platform. My all time personal best for a 25 mile TT (Back in the UK) is 56m40s and I think there is a chance that I could beat that this year. As much as I find my regular time trial bike slightly faster than the Bacchetta I still enjoy riding TT’s on the Bacchetta more. It was a good night all rounf in our household as my wife also did a personal best tonight.
Sandra in full flight:
As we loaded the bikes back into the car (my Catrike wont fit in the car and we have to use the pickup instead) the forecast rain finally came and it was very heavy on the drive home. I am glad I didn’t have my poor trike in the back of the pickup bed in all that rain.
Link To Official Results.
- Result: xxth – (Will be Updated when the results are published)
- Winner: xxxxxxxx