Because I’m in California, I missed the time trial I was signed up for today. It’s tragedy, but I was able to get my mind off of it with a great trail run in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Brian Davis has been largely absent the last few months from the commentary on this site, but today I sent him an email to see how the Frost Bite Time Trial went. I was expecting a short-but-sweet “fine, but it would have been more fun with you…” or even a “it sucked, you didn’t miss anything” but instead I lucked out with a full race report that I am publishing here without consent.
I spun a bit too much out of the start and was moving around on the
bike too much (partially because I was out of shape and doing the
“Davis Wriggle”, and partially because I’m pedaling cubes). The race
seemed interminably long, punctuated occasionally with brief rays of
hope. I was getting frustrated by the time I got to the sign declaring
“200m to turnaround”. Relief washed over me in waves. I began pumping
afresh. My heart rebounded.
Now, we’re both swimmers. We know how long 200m is. It’s a distance
burned into your muscle memory.
I pedaled a hell of a lot longer than 200m without seeing a flagger or
a cone in the road or a single [fricking] indication that there was any
such turnaround. My heart, again, sank.
Shortly thereafter, I whistled past a bunch of signs that match the
ones at the start: “Bicycle race 200m ahead”. Then, two guys coming
from the opposite direction (and visibly pissed) screamed at me “TURN
AROUND! THE TURNAROUND IS BEHIND YOU!!” So I flipped around a decent
distance back and started pumping furiously. I passed the guy who had
shouted loudest (an older guy) and then retraced my tracks back to the
“turnaround”, an unmarked section of road only identified by the
bewildered faces of the oncoming cyclists passing through.
The rest of the race was a throbbing pain-fest that was surprisingly
fun. I definitely negative split the thing (still not knowing how 9
miles feels on the legs). I think I averaged around 23mph over the
I had words with the race organizer (along with 50 or so others) and
will probably be given credit for the extra distance by ranking people
by speed, not time.
Beyond all that, it was a very pleasurable experience. I didn’t take
nearly as long to recover (meaning I hadn’t blasted my legs enough)
and I know I could have gone much, much faster with a little training
and power work (I could pedal in lower gear forever, but my quads were
cramping hard any time I got into my highest gear). I guess that means
more Cougar climbs…[Anytime bro, I’m always up for a good hill climb -ben]
I was the confused newbie with my number sideways and my headlight
still attached to my helmet. I could have used your guidance, but I