Monday, May 18, 2009

A "race against the clock" weekend

Well, did you all have enough wind? It was a gusty one Saturday for the Synergy Sports Withrow TT. Gusty would have been nice. It was more constant than anything. I messed around before the start trying to figure out the right wheels. Of course, the disc was going to be awesome in this but the front wheel was coming down to the Hed Tri-spoke or the Hed Stinger 6. A quick call to aero guru Chris "Dino" Edin at Hed confirmed the Stinger 6. I had a good start and quickly dealt with the crosswind and the gale force winds coming off the lake a mile in. Sketchy would fit that description nicely. I pushed through the rest of the headwinds, crosswinds, and almost getting killed by an SUV that did not stop or would not stop for the course corner marshall, got onto the back stretch, and let it roll at 38mph. In the end I was able to put in a 55:04 in the 41.6K course. The hard winds had a benefit when it came to the tailwinds. Teammate Dan Casper scorched a quick one in for second place.
The bike

I found this bike set-up to be extremely loud. Put into factor that fast and stiff Hed wheels with the very stiff and very hollow tubing of the Trek TTX.....well, it sounded like I was inside a jet engine. Don't get me wrong, that is the sound of "fast" so I went with it. But, it actually hurts my ears. Seriously.
The set up is pretty straight forward. Trek TTX 9.9 SSL OCLV Red carbon frameset, Hed Blackdog flatbar and extensions, Hed Jet C2 disc, Hed Stinger 6 front, and all the little devices that shift your bike. I took off the Bontrager aero bottle due to the high crosswinds and opted for something a little more 'round' to let the wind roll by. Tire pressures and gearing. Top secret for most of you. Ha ha.
Matt Muyres captured my start. At some point you have to stop screwing around, look down the road, get your breathing going, and get serious. That is hard to do sometimes.

The next day was Blackdog. I crashed at Dino's the night before. Strip Mall Mexican food and few Stella's for Dinner, and very good espresso and fine Italian cheese for breakfast apparently are good for recovery and power. Dino is always good for the latest and greatest about wheels. Don't ask? I will not tell you anything so don't even bother. Seriously. All I can say is that Steve Hed is going to rule the Earth someday. But, Dino has probably one of the greatest jobs on Earth. Envy? Hell yes! That guy "sees" aero while we all only guess about it. We messed around with his new TT bike, and his incredibly stiff "Team Edition" Scott Addict that he got from Team Columbia. Holy balls, that is stiff. Anyway, I rolled in later than I wanted to for the start but felt pretty good after a 40K with only a little tightness in the legs.
Jens and I went previewed the course. Most of the potholes have been roughly filled in but it would help to roll better. On Timmer's advice, Hed C2 wheels were the call of the day. Good call Timmer! I felt a little rough on the preview but when it came to the start all was good. The new start out of the parking lot was a bummer (safety) and cost everyone a few seconds on the personal bests. I got to the turnaround with about a 6:40 and knew I had a good time going. So, I decided to increase "the hurt" and give the course record a go. We didn't preview the S-bend turns before the finish. We should have. Some new patchwork under the bridge caught my eye funny and I sat up part of the turns. That cost me the record. But, I am happy with my first "under 14" at Blackdog especially with the road the way it is. I sprinted for the finish and I knew it was going to be close. The time keeper clock was 5 seconds off of mine. I thought I had it, official results said "no." It is what it is. No objections from me. I still had a good race. Teammate Casper again blazed in right behind me, and Timmer screamed in with an incredible time on a fix gear! Remember, he had to start in that gear! ouch.
Jordan Cullen ripped out incredible times all weekend.....and he is 13 years old! Oh boy, here he comes.
The rest of the crew hit the races in Wisconsin with Wheels on Willy and the "I forgot the name of the hard road race the day before" race. Micah took 6th in the road race and I am still awaiting their results from Wheels on Willy.
Wednesday is the NVGP Blackdog followed by the Duluth TT Friday. A lot of time trials for one week. (Four?). Anyway, I unfortunately have to work on my feet and legs all week which is never good for rest (part of the job). Oh well, light spinning and gear-checks all weekend. Long week ahead and then some rest. Ciao -Ian

1 comment:

Doug Swanson said...

Ian, great job last weekend. That time at black dog is crazy. I heard you were hauling. See you on Wednesday. I still have to dust off my TT bike...