It was a touch of madness that made me decide to ride two time trials the day after an MTB race in Bodie. It wasn’t just the MTB race but also the 4-5 hour drive home and lack of sleep (I never sleep well in hotels). In the end I couldn’t miss out on the chance to ride a local time trial after so many have been cancelled this year. I entered the Masters 45+ 3/4 and the Merckx categories which presented a bit of a problem of its own. My first race was at 10:36 a.m. and my second was at 11:18 a.m. which gave me 42 minutes between events. If I could do close to my personal best I would expect to finish in around 27 minutes which meant that I would have only 15 minutes to get back to the parking lot, have a drink, change helmet, change numbers and of course change my bike. I did not have enough time to change out of my skinsuit so I would have to race the Merckx in it (people were using a lot more aero kit than me)
Race#1: Masters 45+
I got a pretty decent warmup but over the the first few miles i could definitely feel the Bodie trip in my legs and was a bit worried at how slow I felt. I decided to just relax and not push myself too deep on the steeper sections on the outward leg and gradually increase my pace. It felt like there was a bit of a headwind on the way out so i was hoping for a super fast return. I was a little concerned that my pulse was a bit down on normal but my power looked good.
The return leg was fast but there were still areas where the wind was quite difficult and I had a few pucker moments with unexpected gusts of wind at over 35MPH. This course seems to be getting rougher every year and you really need to keep your eyes focused on road hazards. The final fast and twisty section was spoiled a little bit by me encountering two leisure cyclists riding two abreast on the last fast corner. This forced me to have to brake and then try to get back up to speed for the last slightly uphill 200m sprint. I reckon this cost me the three seconds I needed for second place.
I was pleased with my third place and ended up with a new personal record by 3 seconds and a new best power by 4w.
- Lanier BENKARD – 00:26:26
- Jeff DALE = 00:26:47
- Mark KING – 00:26:49
It was a huge challenge getting ready for the second event but fortunately my wife was there to help me. By the time I got sorted and onto the Wabi Fixed Gear i had just five minutes before my next race began. I was definitely not properly recovered and a bit stressed when I got to the line. I had opted to ride on my usual 48 x 15 gearing which works out as a reasonable compromise between grinding up the hills on the way out and spinning like a mad thing on the way back.
On the Way out the wind seemed to have got up a bit and I felt really over geared on the 48×15 . I have never felt this to be such an issue before but I put it down to the headwind and general fatigue. It felt very fast on the the way back and i was spinning out in several places (around 140 rpm max). I ended up finishing 23 seconds down on my p.r. and in 6th place which I was a bit disappointed with. I was also very tired.