Monday, March 23, 2009
The bike worked flawlessly and was so easy to ride. The motor (me) had to come up for air toward the end, but I was able to stay on the bars 95% of the time without any neck problems. Oh yeah, my time, in spite of the stiff wind, was a minute faster than last year and about a minute faster than the second place finisher.
I had time to switch the front wheel to the Roark as I got ready for the 20k race. My friend Bill had come in 3rd in the tt, but I told him we would start quick, get a gap, and work hard for a lap, then relax the rest of the way and battle on the last (5th) lap. It worked to perfection. I gapped him on the last lap, but couldn't hold the lead going downhill into the really stiff wind. However, he took the lead heading into the finish and I had a better gear and the Zipp front wheel to get me enough acceleration to take him at the end. Two golds.
I drove home, had dinner, a soak in the tub, and went to bed. Up at 4:30 with a 5:45 departure back to San Antonio for the first race of the morning: 5km tt. This was an out-and-back, with two hills, one of which was pretty long. My muscles were tight and I began wondering how long lactic acid could stay in them. Anyhow, once again I cut a large chunk of time from my previous best and came in first.
I had no business entering the 40km race, especially when the fresh legs of Stanton and Tom showed up. They are faster even without 3 races behind me, so I knew only the bronze would be contested. At the start, they jumped and I jumped with them and within 200 yards we knew the others couldn't catch us. This would be a ten loop ride and I stayed with them for one loop before they left me. However, the lead we had built up on the first loop was sufficient to allow me to not have to push for the next nine.
I have no statistics for these rides. There wasn't time to get a computer on the tt bike, and when I switched wheels, there wasn't a magnet to activate the one on the Roark. I had taken my gps to at least give me some speed readout on the first day, but forgot to turn it off, so ran the battery down for the second day. I had my heart-rate monitor, but somehow forgot the strap, so that, too, was useless.
My head is dancing with the potential of the tt bike. Now I have to 1) Learn how to ride it and 2) Get in better shape, and perhaps get a coach. Oh, and find some races.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Ok, Ben, here it is. For those who can't read the logo, it is a Felt B2 Pro, with Zipp 808 rear and 404 front wheels. I picked it up today, rode it around the block twice, and will race it tomorrow. Naturally, it will take all summer to settle into it. I picked the Felt based almost entirely on the "exceeds expectations" help and attention given to me by the employees (and owner) of Jack and Adams bike shop in Austin. Two other bike shops were gracious in allowing me to test a Specialized Transition and Cervelo P3. I asked for a 54cm, they had one, and off I rode. Not Jack. I first stopped by 10 minutes before closing on Sunday, just to see if they would let me road-test a bike. Thomas said yes, come back tomorrow. He was busy when I returned, so Jack helped me. Before letting me take the bike, he had me do a quick fitting to be sure. Possibly because he is a tad taller than me and rides a 54cm gave him a clue that I was clueless. Two hours later, on a 52cm with lots of tinkering, I left the shop. I immediately went to my tt course but due to weather, could only give it a couple of quick runs, but knew right off that this bike fit like a glove and allowed me to utilize all of my power.
The next day I returned the bike, being greeted by name by Michelle, Thomas, and Jack. We discussed the B2 Pro because I wanted Zipp 808s. Ordered, delivered, and ready to pick up in a week. Again the meticulous fitting - it was perfect. Then Jack took it to the back and an hour later it was more perfect. I have no idea if the Transition or the Cervelo (if they had similar Zipps) or the Roark with 808 front and rear would be faster. Truthfully, don't care. I do know that the proper fit given to me by Jack already has made me feel stronger and faster. I'll find out tomorrow.
If you know you aren't cycling your best, you can either experiment with incremental changes here and there, or find someone who knows what they are doing and get it right the first time. And if you are in Austin and like personal attention, stop by Jack and Adams.
My next post title will mirror the one by Ben several months ago. However, I hope my racing experiences do not. I don't believe I'll be asking Ben for advice on tires anytime soon.