Monday, May 14, 2007

on my first real TT







(Photos: Kimberly Weixel--Thanks!)


Success! I achieved everything I wanted to today. It was a roundabout way of making it all happen, but it happened, and I guess that's the important thing.

My racing club has a monthly TT series, which happened to be tonight. It starts early (so we can get everyone done before dark), so I knew I'd have to extract myself from the office way early in order to get everthing done. I also had to manage to get the new seat for my TT bike, and get that adjusted properly, and give myself an hour to warm up and ride over to the course, which is about 5 miles from my house. I got the new seat over lunch, but when I got home this afternoon and went to put it on, I hit my first snag...I couldn't for the life of me loosen the seat clamp! It was on there TIGHT! Ok...i tried and tried, I didn't think i was THAT weak....but I guess I am! So I didn't want to take the bike all the way downtown to my mechanic....so I called the bike shop which is 2 blocks away from my house, and thankfully the main mechanic answered, and said he would do it. So I rode it over, spare seat in my jersey pocket (sticking out the back), and he was able to get it switched out for me. I watched--it took him some serious effort, too, thus restoring my ego slightly. As I thanked him profusely and left, I said "thank goodness I'm a cyclist and not a weightlifter," which got a good chuckle :-)

On to the TT. I went early to pre-ride the course. I saw lots of other aero-looking people pre-riding the course. The one thing I saw that I didn't expect to see was a huge SNAKE in the bike lane! I had to swerve to avoid this 4-5 foot slithery thing! Ack. Thankfully that snake thought better of his positioning and removed himself before the race started. I got there and met up with David, who is the one who loaned me the bike. He said I looked great on it, nice and aero, and then gave me some pointers about how to ride a TT. It made me feel a lot better about the whole thing. Then I went and got in line. It's a self timed thing..you just line up and they send you off at 30 second intervals. David said that everyone feels awful at some point in a TT, and to just ride through it. Denise reminded me to be in the right gear at the start :-) (thanks denise!). I started mid-way through. I had a good start, got up to speed and heart rate quickly and settled into my rhythm. It always surprises me that in training it seems hard to get a 180 HR...but in a race or timed event of any sort, the little competitive spirit kicks in and I can dig a lot deeper. About half way through, I'm still rolling along, most of the hills behind me, thinking, I don't think I'm goign to be the slowest one! I then concentrate on smooth pedaling and steady breathing. And remembering where the turns are :-). After I negotiate the last turn (still getting used to the whole aero bar concept), I start back towards the finish, and it is time to ramp the heart rate for the final couple of beats. That is when the feeling showed up that David warned me about (the "i want to hurl my guts right now" feeling). However, I was almost done, and I decided I could just gut it out. So I pushed through it and finished with a 27:32. Now, the fastest time of the day was something like 22:40, but my time did happen to be the best woman's time (ok, so there were only 4), and also faster than a lot of other guys, so I am feeling good about it!

The Echelon TT is a really nice venue. It's low-key, everyone is super nice and helpful, and it just has a good vibe. I'll definitely go back again! I highly recommend it for anyone who happens to be in Santa Barbara on the 2nd monday of the month at 5:45pm! Now I'm feeling solid about the bike...and ready to race Kern in a few days. Now I just have to let the legs recover from my long weekend rides and this hard effort.

Ciao!

18 comments:

Steve Weixel said...

I put some pictures from the TT on my blog. You certainly looked fast when I saw you come around the corner on Glen Annie...

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Steve--and looking fast is half the battle! The turns really slowed me down..the new bike just doesn't corner like our Giants :-). It was fun, though (in a nearly losing your guts kind of way).
Thanks for the photos--awesome!

chatterbox said...

kim-Great job out there! You will do really well at Kern. Just have fun, though. It looks like there isn't a beastly weather prediction for the weekend yet. So, it will at least be pleasant and fun and at most the time of your life!!!

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Yay! All these fancy TT bikes...I might have to do something about my one-bike-per-person household...

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Panda--or you could just borrow one like me! Although I feel like I might just need my own after all this fancy schmancy stuff!

Chatterbox--yup...I'm super excited for Kern now...if nothing else I"ll get to meet lots of people, and we'll all have fun suffering together.

CyclistRick said...

When I saw this last night I was going to ask if you had the aero helmet and booties, but the pix tell the story.

Cornering is critical and those wheels resist that change in direction of momentum. It may mean a speed scrub, but that is better than pulling a Bobby Julich are Michael Rasmussen type of error.

Have fun!

Flandria said...

you've got a really nice position on the bike!

i am drooling on your equipment...:-)

great job!

Chris said...

Well done! You do look fast on that bike :)

Gary said...

Nice, looking good in the aero position. Those pesky TT bikes are tricky in the corners, believe me, I know!

dr-nitro said...

I'm going to have to send these pics to your dept chair and college dean. The gig is up. Of course, you can always chalk it up to applied egineering research on the mechanics of tri-spokes or clip ons or something or another.

You look like you got the position down, though. Now time for a skinsuit if you're going to fancy yourself as a time trialist.

Auffderbach said...

Yeah, that's what I was going to
say: "What, no skinsuit?"

Kimberly said...

yup--im severely lacking a skinsuit! My club has no more this year...and I didn't know I would need one at the beginning of the year (my racing has progressed rather quickly) when they took the orders! I'll just have to suffer through with extra aerodynamic drag until next season!

dr-nitro said...

You can geek out and stuff your jersey in your shorts. Not that I've ever done that, but I've seen others.

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

dr-nitro: That is too pee-wee herman for me! I'm not sure my fashion conscience would ever forgive me! In the name of a few seconds faster...hmmmm

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

And on my gig being up: Well, I did supervise a senior design contest project that used a bike to power a water distiller earlier this year. They had to sacrifice a bike frame in order to meet the size requirements of the contest...but it was still fun, and still involved serious power output. Its still nice to know that even though my students are significantly younger...I can still out-power many of them when it comes to pedaling!

And I plan to have a senior project work on power meter design next year...I'll volunteer my bike for the trial testing!

dr-nitro said...

I'm the faculty advisor for the Cal Poly Wheelmen, and I admit I take some pride (that or old man ego maintenance) that I can school all of them, but for their new up and comer. Plus, it is something I can put on my CV for university service.

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

dr-nitro: So were you down here for the IV crit that the UCSB bike club put on? Interesting idea for university service...i might have to steal that one! Way more fun than being the Society of women engineers faculty advisor!

dr-nitro said...

No IV crits for me. I think I was doing either the Orosi RR or Copperopolis. Crits ain't my gig, which is generally why I don't head south of here to do the racing thing. I think that districts are the only reason I've seen this year to so socal racing, although the course does look boring.