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  1. #1
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Race Report - District Championship 40K TT

    2007 Northern California /Nevada Time Trial Championships
    June 10, 2007
    Sattley, CA: 5000 feet elevation in the Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe
    40K Flat terrain, rough roads, with a single turn around
    Tandem Division Mixed 110+: 2nd out of a field of 3 with 2 no shows
    Official results: Time 66:40
    All results:http://www.ncnca.org/road/2007/tt07.html

    Since this race is a 4 hour drive from our house and we rode in the morning, we drove to Truckee, CA, near Lake Tahoe and stayed overnight. We went out to dinner and met another racing couple. The guy stoked on a tandem that won at Sattley and was interested in buying a racing tandem. It was a fun evening.

    We got to the race 2 hours ahead to check out the site and sign in. For a district championship, the staging area was very spartan – no bands, no warm up cheerleaders, no guest dignitaries (Governor Arnold was not present ) and no vendors, food or water. Everyone parked along the side of the road next to a pasture and there was a sign up table with 6 jiffy johns and a starting line. Bike racers just want to race, so we take this in stride with no whining. It was a beautiful day with the temperature 65 degrees. The wind was light and variable when we got there. We were hoping the weatherman and the wind advisory for Lake Tahoe were wrong.

    While signing in, we met a couple who had planned to ride their Calfee tandem in our group, but the handlebar snapped off of the fork on a training ride. Fortunately, they did not crash. The stoker rode in the women’s 55+ 20K category that morning and set a new national record . She was planning to compete in the 20K TT and then join her husband to compete in our tandem division. They would have been first or second. They have the Calfee set up for racing with TT bars for the captain and the stoker.

    We set up our trainer at our car and joined the other racers who were warming up. The wind started to blow harder. One of our Webcor teammates who just finished stopped by and said, “it is getting really windy on the course. You better save some for the end.” We finished on the trainer and went out on the road to check out the wind. It was now blowing at about 20 mph. We went to the start line and we were the first to start in the 110+ group. In all categories, there were 17 tandems competing with some of the teams competing in last week’s Dunlap TT. This start was “held” so we got a great fast start. In general, the roads in the Sierras are bad due to the chains and snow and this TT course is notorious for its ruts every 30 feet or so plus the asphalt can be rough. So every few seconds, there was a significant hit. The first thing we noticed, besides the bumps, was the slow pace of the riders heading to the finish line as they were buffeted by the wind. We accelerated to 25 mph and immediately began to be buffeted by cross winds with gusts. Many times I was turning the bike slightly into the wind. We made a slight turn and picked up some tail wind and our speed increased to 28 mph. Soon, we were soon cruising at 30 mph. I was constantly looking for smooth road. We got to the 20K turn around in 28 minutes ~ 27mph average – but we knew the best was yet to come. When we turned around and started back we entered a world of swirling, gusty wind that would torture us for the remainder of the race . The wind slowed us down to 21 mph. We continued and the wind went from cross to right in our face. It was now really blowing and dropping us down to 17 mph at times. We would fight back up to 20 to 21 mph. We kept our mental focus and power up but the relentless wind and gusts up to 37 mph wear you down. Another feature of the course is the ability to see the finish line when it is far away. While you are suffering and being tortured by the wind, you can see your progress and know how much longer this must go on and sometimes it is best not to know. We crossed the line and I was dead tired both physically and mentally. The 5000 feet of elevation also took its toll. Last week, we were able to get our HRs up to max minus 5 beats. This week, the best was about max minus 12 beats.

    Even with the wind, the race was a lot of fun and we met new people and certainly learned a few new things about time trial racing and ourselves – 40K is a long way at full power. We will be back next year.

    Monday…we both feel pretty good today. For the first time, I feel like I could race again today , but I will focus on recovery.
    Last edited by Hermes; 06-11-07 at 07:56 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  2. #2
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Wow...I could not imagine doing a 40k TT-especially with the winds you had. I'm sure it was a blast going out though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Congratulations!

    Too bad you encountered so much wind
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  4. #4
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    Way to go you guys! You rock! I was kind of surprised there was no wind for the Dunlap TT. It can really blow around there. That extra 6K with a strong headwind really makes a difference. RR and I are looking forward to September.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
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  5. #5
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgallagh
    Way to go you guys! You rock! I was kind of surprised there was no wind for the Dunlap TT. It can really blow around there. That extra 6K with a strong headwind really makes a difference. RR and I are looking forward to September.
    We are as well. We are looking for a race in July and August but so far no luck.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  6. #6
    Senior Member Velodiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgallagh
    Way to go you guys! You rock! I was kind of surprised there was no wind for the Dunlap TT. It can really blow around there. That extra 6K with a strong headwind really makes a difference. RR and I are looking forward to September.
    Hermes and I missed you at Sattley. It was quite an experience! Next year we will probably overnight at lower altitude - Truckee, CA is at 5900 ft - the myth(?) being circulated is that it is best to overnight at lower altitude and then just head up to Sattley and race before your body adjusts. (That is, of course, assuming that you don't have the luxury of fully acclimating to the altitude.) We did have a fantastic dinner tho' at Pianetta's in Truckee - who would think that Truckee would have a great Northen Italian restaurant with great ambience? Lots of other cycling couples there as well. Truckee had an inch of snow last week so we were prepared for almost anything (except for THOSE WINDS.) Fortunately the temperature was perfect. Hermes neglected to "tell all" about our warm up. We did about 20 minutes in the trainer and then another 15 minutes on a narrow two-lane country road. On the warm-up turnaround, Captain Hermes went into several inches of "quick-sand" gravel and was confident that he could plough through it. Not so. In very slow motion, down we went. Just minutes from our start time. So we showed up at the start, me with a bloody wrist, elbow and leg and Captain Hermes a little dusty. That was a sure fire way to get my heart rate up. Now in retrospect, it was pretty funny. I must admit, Captain Hermes is an excellent captain - this was are only tandem mishap. And it did not affect or race performance in the least. (No excuses.) I am an endurance athlete (former marathoner) so we thought the 40 k might play in our favor. This partcular race was not a good test of that theory. That "wall of wind" was so demoralizing on the way back. We are used to very windy conditions where we live and train on the Peninsula in the Bay area - but this was ridiculous. Hermes managed the bike well in the wind. Between the wind and altitude, it seemed futile. Like putting the pedal to the metal with minimal results. So we were off the goal that we set for ourselves, but all the times were slower this year. We did our best and are looking forward to many more tandem TTs!
    In bocca al lupo!

  7. #7
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    What a great report! I can almost imagine being there myself...except I try to avoid riding in winds like those. Hail, thunderstorms, rain, almost-freezing temps (hello, Solvang Century '06) I can handle, but wind makes me wimpy.

    VD (oh, no!), sorry to hear about Capt. H exceeding the critical angle. We've done that, too, but not before an event. Hope you have no lasting scars on you or the Santana.

    Looking forward to more tandemonium.
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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