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Sunday, June 21, 2009

My First Time Trial

And a disaster it was!

I think time trials (TT) are great. In addition to being my favorite type of cycling competition, I think they are great to participate in as a way to measure your fitness and help attain riding goals like speed. Turns out, there are several TT races held in the local area by clubs and bike shops...and they're open to anyone. I'd been thinking of trying one but my schedule makes it difficult. But there is one that fits my schedule perfectly and also happens to be reasonably close by as well, so earlier in the week I committed to participate in the once per month Saturday morning 12-mile TT held by the Sharon Road Club.

Okay, so now about the disaster. I'll start by giving some advice. Know the TT course before you ride it for the first time. I know the roads in the area reasonably well and had both a map I had downloaded and studied plus written directions handed to me at the race. Despite all that, I missed a turn that resulted in an estimated extra 1.6 miles being added to the 12 mile TT loop. But that's just the BIG mistake I made. Here is a complete list of all the things, that IMO, went wrong...rookie mistakes if you will :

  • Not knowing the course well enough and missing a turn
  • Riding 28 miles the night before
  • Starting out way too fast for the 12 mile distance and at too high a cadence
  • Forgetting to reset my cyclometer
  • Not being able to ride on the drops for long enough distances
  • Forgetting to wear my skin suit and teardrop shape aero helmet (ok...just kidding on those two!)
My official time was 44:19, which for a 13.6 mile distance equates to an average speed of 18.5 mph. My goal for this TT was an average speed with a 19 handle...so to me I didn't come close. My goal for this season is to break into the 20s. Despite the disaster, I still had fun and plan on doing this TT routinely as a measure of progress.

The Sharon Road Club TT is held once a month during the riding season at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. More information can be found at the link.

There are a few other regularly held TT events in the area of varying distances. Here are the ones a know about with links for more information.

I'd like to try the Bikeworks TT next if I can manage to free-up a Thursday night.

Anyone know of any other TTs in the area?

Edited to add another local TT:

  • Pat Bell TT - Southboro, MA - Tues nights at 6:30 - 11.7 miles

2 comments:

Michael said...

Congratulations on the TT. Going fast really is tough, isn't it? I found intervals really help, but it's hard to keep pushing through them. There are TT's here at Lowe's Motor Speedway every Tuesday evening, so there isn't any route to rememeber - just a big 1.5 mile high banked oval. I'm thinking about trying it.

Glenn_in_MA said...

Seems like it would be weird riding a bike on the Speedway...sorta like a mutant velodrome! Yes, going fast sure comes hard to a spinner like me.