Friday, June 21, 2013

World War T (The T is for Time Trial, and also Taint)

I've written about time trialling a lot more than my achievements in the discipline justify.

I've written on general TT position.  I've written on my own TT fit (I've since moved to a new bike and a new fit).  I've written about how to train for time trials.  And specifically, I've written about how to train for Church Creek.

In that last piece I plotted out the estimated wattage required to win at Church Creek (close to 390 for the 1/2/3, around 220 for women).

My recommendation--and it was mostly directed at me--was to hire someone intimidating to prevent fast guys from showing up.

I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to time trials, with one exception--a win would be a lot more conceivable if everyone faster than me doesn't show up.

The truth is, I've never come within five minutes of the fastest guys in my category at Church Creek.  It's not as if a slightly different pacing strategy or a tweak to position would change anything.  Ah, shoe covers!  If only I'd worn shoe covers!  And removed the gloves!  That's at least 2 seconds over 25 miles.  The 60-year-olds would've beaten me by 5'43" instead of 6 full minutes.

This past off-season, I've trained a fair amount on my bike.  I don't have any excuses.

I'm not too ashamed to admit--Church Creek terrifies me.

Fred Power at the Church:  on the wings of eagles and hybrids, and probably beating me
I have suffered ridiculous pain there, particularly when, one particularly masochistic day, I did both an individual then a team TTT.  The course has wrecked my legs, my lungs, and has led me to entertain crazy thoughts, thoughts such as whether a doubled-up chamois would be any defense against the roads of Church Creek (this was the year the road crews or some Goebbels anti-cyclist eugenicist had decided to rough up the road surface of the back half of the course).

For some reason, I find myself scheduled to launch my tentative taint from the start at Church Creek tomorrow.  I'm right behind Josh Frick, 2012 National Masters Individual Pursuit and Team Pursuit champ, as well as one of the few competitors to have pushed a sub-50 minute 40k at Church Creek.

Behind me will be Paul Lengermann.  As his vocation, Lengermann does some kind of economics wizardry.  Defeating aerodynamic drag must seem like child's play relative to rescuing the post-financial-crisis economy.

Behind Paul will start Scott Giles.  Giles is just back from representing MABRA in the Nature Valley Pro Chase.  He is a Navy pilot and while the use of Hellfire missiles in bike races is frowned upon, there is nothing in the UCI rulebook prohibiting the firing of self-propelled human missiles, of which Scott is certainly a terrifying example.

I won't bother listing my other competitors, stallions such as Blair Berbert, who last year claimed the Pennsylvania TT championship as well as 7th in U23 Nationals, and seems these days to be entirely focused on races against the clock.

To think about the monsters I'll be facing, well, it's just too intimidating and too depressing.

Do you realize that some of these competitors are capable of sustaining 30mph for the entire 40 kilometers (e.g., in Josh Frick clocked a 49:28!)?  When was the last race you did that averaged 30mph?  I can safely answer that question for you--NEVER.

So how do I cope with the near-certainty of multiple ass-kickings being directed not necessarily toward me, but definitely being received by me?

  • I can only thank the Good Lord Keck Baker, Tim Rugg, Rick Norton, and about a dozen other monsters won't be there.  
  • I can also be liberal with the Chamois Butt'r and be thankful the rough parts of the course have been recently paved.
  • Oh, and I can also try to go fast.  Forgot about that!  Yes, go as fast as my pathetic little VO2 max will allow.

Damn you, Church Creek.  Damn you.

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