20K Time Trial

This was my first time trial.  The only thing I knew about time trials was from watching the Tour de France.  Blazing fast, aero helmets that make them look like torpedos on wheels, and an all out race against the clock. I’ve always wondered what it feels like to have someone pass you in a time trial.  With 30-second staggers I figured I would probably find out.

This was the first cycling event of the season for South Valley Endurance, the Bay Area’s newest and coolest Run-Bike-Tri-Du event company.  I showed up at Harvey Bear Park in San Martin where I have run countless miles in the beautiful hills nestled between Morgan Hill and Gilroy.  The skies looked ready to empty buckets of rain at any moment.  I pulled into the parking lot to find what appeared to be every single cyclist spinning  on a trainer next to their car.  So this is what you do to warm up before a time trial.  I had no warm up plan and I had recently shipped my CycleOps to India so I could spin in my hotel room on business trips.  I quickly checked in and took my bike out on the tw0-mile asphalt loop where I have never seen a person on a bike.

Upon finishing my warm-up ride I realized I had no idea where to find the start line.  I had intended on studying the route a bit before showing up but never got around to it.  I finally found the start line nearly a half mile from the parking lot and pulled up just as they were calling my number. 

With a ten second countdown I was off.  All I was thinking was go as fast as you think you can go for 30 minutes.  That’s not terrically fast but turns out it was faster than most.  With a time of 35:10, I averaged over 21 mph with half the course in a headwind so I felt good about my result.  Just as I was about to celebrate my 8th place finish overall, I realized the dude in 7th place was 61 years old!  Well, good for him.  I did get passed rather effortlessly by one guy on disc wheels but I had the fastest time in my tri club and I know I can go faster.  Can’t wait to do another one.

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