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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 10-10-07, 08:33 AM   #1
BikeWNC
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1st TT last night

This is my first thread in the 50+ forum and though I technically won't be officially 50 for 2 weeks I was placed in the 50-54 age group at the race. So, here I am.

The TT took place in Charlotte at the Lowe's Motor Speedway, yes, the NASCAR track. What an awesome venue for a TT. If you don't get pumped to ride in that stadium you might need a pacemaker. After a good warm-up to get used to the track and conditions I topped up on gel and fluids, swallowed my nerves and headed to the start line. Riders started in 15 second intervals, riding to the inside of the track and passing on the right. My bike was my standard road bike. No aerobars or special position. I did put a 31 mm semi aero wheel on the front but used my PowerTap Open Pro on the back. The interesting thing about the track, which is a 1.5 mile tri-oval, is that it has about 20' of grade from one end to the other. The wind was blowing head on going uphill and therefore I had a tailwind on the back straight down the grade. My plan was to push the uphill/upwind section and relax a bit on the downhill/downwind part.

No matter how well one paces an event like a TT, somewhere about 2/3 of the way in it really starts to hurt. The race was 10 miles and sure enough just past the halfway point I began to question how much I had left in the tank. Unlike training though there is an extra bit of motivation when the clock is running. I was able to hold my effort through the final laps and finish strong with a good sprint to the line. My time for the 10 miles was 25:07 or just a hair under 24 mph. I was very happy with the result and my power output was a PR for both 20 minutes (my normal testing time) and whole the 25 minutes. So I guess I did everything about as right as I could have given a first race.

If anyone is near the Charlotte area I highly recommend this TT series. It is finished for the season now but will start again next April. Everyone is very supportive and riders of all abilities compete against the clock. I really had a blast.
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Old 10-10-07, 08:48 AM   #2
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Welcome and congrats on the race. That is a great time for non-aero and your first TT.
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Old 10-10-07, 09:30 AM   #3
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Congratulations!

BTW, what was your 20 min power?
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Old 10-10-07, 09:44 AM   #4
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Congratulations!

BTW, what was your 20 min power?
My 20 minute average power was 277, 20 minute normalized power was 280.

Thanks. I really had fun.

Edit... to correct power numbers. Same power #s for the whole TT at 25 minutes.

Last edited by BikeWNC; 10-10-07 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 10-10-07, 03:47 PM   #5
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I saw where you had signed up and am glad you were able to make it out to the track. I didn't see VV around last night-did she make it out by chance?

Excellent time for your setup and for it being the first time as well! I sure hope you were able to get out on the track before the wind picked up a little before 8. I scanned at folks times and it looks like that the folks that went out after about 7:50 took about 90 seconds longer than they normally do due to the front that came through.


I had hoped to improve my standing in my age group but unfortunately due to my duties at the event I wasn't able to ride until late........I started when the wind was really starting to blow. The fellas I was trying to beat were able to get out earlier so needless to say my time last night didn't do me any good.

I had a lot of trouble just staying upright while tucked into the aero position the wind was so gusty. My brother was having so much trouble he even came off the aerobars on his TT bike and went to the ourside bars. We've had all kinds of weathe for the TT's over the past few years but I don't recall the wind ever picking up so quickly like it did last night.

It was neat that with the NASCAR race at the track this weekend, a lot of the stuff for the race was already at the track. It certainly helped to add to the atmosphere.

Glad you enjoyed the event. We've strived to continue to make improvements over the past few years and added things like the chips/electronic timing with preliminary results posted that night, start/finish line setup, countdown lights, race clock, sponges for marking lines on the backstretch, 3 speed groups for safety and two start lines. But you're right-we're extremely lucky that Humpy Wheeler is a cyclist and works with us to provide a very unique and terrific venue for an event like that. If you have any suggestions on things we can do to make the experience even more enjoyable please let me know. We'll be huddling in a few weeks to review last year's events and do some preliminary planning for next year.

I certainly hope you'll try and get down this way again next year.
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Old 10-10-07, 05:40 PM   #6
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Thanks, jppe. I was very satisfied with my result. I had a pretty good idea what power I could produce over the course of the TT but had no idea about speed. I never get to ride on a flat road around here. I knew that I had gone 22 mph over an hour on a loop course on a tempo session but it had more climbing than the track. There's more speed to be had if I can get more aero but it will take time to get there.

I thought the event was very well run. As a newcomer, I had no idea what to do when I got to the track though being with Vega and Polara I had help. If I were by myself it might have been a bit confusing. Everyone I asked questions of though was very helpful.

I signed up in the first group not knowing where I would fit in. I thought I could fit in the second group but I played it conservative. So the wind wasn't much of a problem in that it was pretty consistent during my ride. I'll be back next year for sure though the summer temperatures might keep me away during the middle part of the series. Thanks for being a part of the organization that put on the event.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:29 PM   #7
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Splendid. Congrats. I'd love to ride on that track.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:38 PM   #8
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Splendid. Congrats. I'd love to ride on that track.
I'll send you next year's schedule when confirmed. I already have the preliminary dates but we've learned these can change several times over the next few months-depending on race school dates and other uses of the track.

I'll work you out a deal you can't refuse!!
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Old 10-10-07, 06:49 PM   #9
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I'll send you next year's schedule when confirmed. I already have the preliminary dates but we've learned these can change several times over the next few months-depending on race school dates and other uses of the track.

I'll work you out a deal you can't refuse!!
I'll appreciate that. My goal will be to finish without throwing up.
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Old 10-12-07, 04:30 PM   #10
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I was there, jppe. You probably didn't seem me because I was moving so slowly.

I didn't get to ride but three times outside since the last TT on September 5, but I was pleased that I finished only nine seconds slower than my best. Still, I had hoped to get below 27 minutes (my time was 27:15.36, so at least I broke 22mph to finish the season). I'm very much looking forward to next season, and my end-of-season goal is 24 minutes.

We shall see. I have much work to do between now and next season, including some riding with BikeWNC up in them thar hills!

Sorry you had to ride with such gusty headwind. But, because I'm usually first or second to start, I was kinda glad to see some of those faster riders having to put up with the wind that usually blows when I'm on the track but which stops by the time they're ridin'. Yeah, I know. I shouldn't be happy to see anyone having to fight that wind.
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Old 10-12-07, 04:40 PM   #11
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I was there, jppe. You probably didn't seem me because I was moving so slowly.

I didn't get to ride but three times outside since the last TT on September 5, but I was pleased that I finished only nine seconds slower than my best. Still, I had hoped to get below 27 minutes (my time was 27:15.36, so at least I broke 22mph to finish the season). I'm very much looking forward to next season, and my end-of-season goal is 24 minutes.

We shall see. I have much work to do between now and next season, including some riding with BikeWNC up in them thar hills!

Sorry you had to ride with such gusty headwind. But, because I'm usually first or second to start, I was kinda glad to see some of those faster riders having to put up with the wind that usually blows when I'm on the track but which stops by the time they're ridin'. Yeah, I know. I shouldn't be happy to see anyone having to fight that wind.
Vegavixen, congrats...

You NC guys are making this TT thing look easy. It must be something in the water.
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Old 10-12-07, 04:58 PM   #12
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Thanks, Hermes! Hm. Well, there are many who are much faster than I. Including those two fellers up there ^^^. Guess I need to drink more water. Lots more water!
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Old 10-12-07, 10:48 PM   #13
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Hi,

There are a lot of 50+ TT racers in SoCal and I'd imagine that the competition in NC is just as fierce as it is here. Sounds like a great ride for a first TT on a non-TT bike. Keep it up!
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Old 10-13-07, 07:41 AM   #14
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Nice time. I will never forget our first TT. We showed up for a 34K TT with no aero anything. Not only that but our bike weighed a ton and had flat bars. Red Rider said we looked like the couple that showed up for a black tie wedding in bib overalls. Sounds like, from reading your post, you are going to be doing more. Have fun and keep us all posted.

VV, There was a rumor you were coming out west some time. It would be cool if you were to make it out and play with us here in Northern California.
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Old 10-13-07, 10:19 AM   #15
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cgallagh, I do plan to make a VegaVixen West Coast Tour. I had thought I'd have already done it by now, but I'm still closing out the estate.

I do plan to hit SoCal, NorCal, and Oregon, for sure, with a layover in TX to visit some other BF'ers there (and possibly drive to Tulsa to visit my stepson and his family). I'll be sure to post up when I'm ready to start fine-tuning my plan!
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Old 10-13-07, 10:26 AM   #16
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Wow. Nice ride. And what a cool event.I don't know of anything near me like that.
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Old 10-13-07, 11:30 AM   #17
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Sorry you had to ride with such gusty headwind. But, because I'm usually first or second to start, I was kinda glad to see some of those faster riders having to put up with the wind that usually blows when I'm on the track but which stops by the time they're ridin'. Yeah, I know. I shouldn't be happy to see anyone having to fight that wind.
Oh, c'mon, of course you should be glad to see someone else have to face the windy music. What's a little schadenfreude between friends?
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