Tuesday nights are fun. There is a large group of us who meet down at Lamar for a handicapped group ride. the "A" group consists of accomplished racers, and fast recreational riders and the "B" group consists of beginners, rec riders, and accomplished racers who aren't quite fast enough for the "A" group. Each group is usually subdivided into three smaller groups ,the last in each group being the fastest. In theory that should allow everyone to come together near the finish line on the second lap.
This Tuesday anyone who is interested in doing the State ITT and TTT should come with TT bike in hand if (you have one) ,and get used to riding the distance in the TT position. If you've ever watched the TTT on TV during a pro race it is a very elegant thing to watch and I've always wanted to participate in a TTT. As much as everyone loves to time trial I figured it would be just Perry, Kingsley and me and so it was. We decided to roll out early before everyone else so as not to interfere with the groups of riders not doing the TT, so we rolled out about 5 minutes ahead of everyone. I was a little apprehensive about riding with Perry and Kingsley since they are light years ahead of me in fitness and have done a whole lot more racing than me. As we started off we agreed that we didn't want to race but just get used to riding the distance in the aero position and riding in a pace line on a squirrelly TT bike.
Rolling down 107 was smooth like butta', it's such a nice thing to ride with other skilled riders whose handling ability you are sure of. The first half mile or so we rode with about two feet between us and as we became more comfortable with the close proximity we tightened up the pace line and cruised along at 26-28 mph each taking about a 60 second pull and made the 90 deg turn off 107 without falling apart. I began to think "okay this isn't to bad" " if they don't crank it up I can stay with them". I did just that all along the river and up the first hill. Halfway up the second hill I flatted. I waved them on but the turned around and rode back down the hill to give me time to affect the repair.
After one of the fastest tube changes I've ever done, and just as I was putting my wheel back on. the first "A" group went flying by followed closely by the last (fast) group of "A"s and then my TTT Teamates. So, we jumped on the back of the group. I fully expected them to leave us but on the downhill grade and flat section before the next hill the areoness of the TT bike made it very easy to stay up. Starting up heartbreak (a hill about 1/4 mile long and 5-6% grade) I was sure that they would leave us. Ending up on the front of our TT group I got exited at the fact that we were staying with them ,and rode way harder than I should have and used a lot of cake riding at 19 mph. Almost to the top I pettered out. Perry waited on me and we got back on at the bottom of the descent and got sucked up the next hill from the draft of the group. Perry went to the front of the group and thinking that he was trying get me and Kingsley back in line I accelerated down the right side with Kinglsey following. Went straight to the front and started pulling down the long grade at 33 mph. The three of us were lined up again on the front. Starting up the long grade to the finish line I swung out, then Kingsley pulled and swung out, and then Perry "the Diesel" pulled through. Perry must have forgotten that we were TT practicing because he immediately gapped me and as I struggled to stay on I red lined. Letting out an explicative I swung out, toasted in the wake of the "Animal".
As I recovered I gained some ground but stayed about 1/4 mile back of the group. I could see the white jersey of Perry on the front dragging everyone down 107. I eventually started passing riders left by the pace. I was still riding very fast 29-30 mph along the road off 107 but it still wasn't enough to catch back up. Riding the TT bikes as a team was great while it lasted, we were a very smooth unit and I was comfortable the whole time. unfortunatley I don't think I'm the man for the job at the State TTT. Time is taken on the third man across the line. I felt kinda bad afterwords but I have to remember I've only ridden 2000 miles this year and raced only once since February. Besides, cross season is fast approaching and that is what my focus is. I always amaze myself at how I can rationalize anything into sounding better. C'est La Vie.