“They” call the time trail the race of truth; perhaps this is why “they” also say that the truth hurts.
I kicked off my 2012 bike racing season with the Icebreaker Time Trial down near Black Diamond. I was out of bed at 4:00 AM in order to be at the race site bright and early as I was bringing down a carload of road signs, tents, radios and other miscellaneous race stuff. After helping my teammates set up the course – my team, Cucina Fresca organizes this event – I loitered about a bit and then hopped on the trainer for a good warm-up session.
Warming up for an early season time trial is a bit of a tricky matter as I wanted to get good and hot, but I didn’t want to soak my skin suit in sweat thereby risking a freezing ten mile ride on the course. This was my first experience with the skin suit and I learned that you don’t put on the top half until absolutely the last minute, because once you’re in that thing you’re in it. Fortunately I was able to use short fast bursts on the trainer to elevate my heart rate without becoming too overheated. I popped my bike out of the trainer five minutes before my start time, pulled off my wool tights, put on my helmet and rolled over to the starting queue.
I arrived up with two minutes to spare.
Last year I took off from the start line like I was being chased by zombies; two miles down the road I was up on the bullhorns gasping for air. I vowed not to repeat that mistake. I rolled out at about ninety percent and settled into a good sustainable pace. My strategy was to get to the turnaround in good shape and then turn it on for the return trip. It seemed, and I guess it still does seem, like a good plan: it’s better to gradually get faster instead of gradually getting slower.
Despite getting passed three times – when the second guy came past I glanced at my Garmin, it said 24.9 mph, I mean damn that guy must have been going 27, maybe even, 28 miles an hour. I finished strong and never did spike my heart into that potential cardiac arrest range. I did the ten mile course in 26:02, nearly a minute faster than last year – I’ll take that.