Like I said I was going to the other day, I rode in The Texas Time Trials this weekend. It was again confirmed that I really should leave these events to faster riders, but it's fun challenging yourself at one of these, even if you can't produce world class results. Ultra marathon riders are a unique fraternity. I also had great teammates at TTTT.
Our mixed 4 person recumbent team, the Mixed Bag O' Nuts, finished the 500 miles (25 laps around a 20 mile course) in 27:42. Since we were the first mixed recumbent team to compete in the event, we established the course record for that category. We also beat the overall mixed team course record, but another team which used a later starting time than us, beat us by 4 minutes, so that record was short lived.
As for me personally, I guess this was a good test to let me know where I stand. With smart bike riding, I had managed a personal best at the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred, but with these hills in a no-drafting event, there's just no faking it, and I was 31 minutes slower than last year, doing the same six twenty mile laps. Part of it was missing lung tissue, no doubt, but part was also lack of hill training, I suspect. It has been such a monumental feat to drag myself up hills this year, that I just haven't sought them out as much as I did last year. I have recovered further than I thought I would this year though, so I won't complain.
This event seems to attract stronger riders every year. This year, Dallas Morris, the winner of the solo men's 500 mile race, and Caroline Van den Bulk, the winner of the women's solo 500 mile race, both came all the way from Canada to compete. There were lots of new course records set.
The Mixed Bag O' Nuts: Ray, Steve, Peggy, and me.
Getting ready to start.
Steve finishes a lap.
Peggy finishes her lap in the dark.
Canopies at the start used by the two rbent recumbent teams.
The start of the 6 hour event.
Friend Paul finishes the long hill early in the loop.
Starting down Goatneck Hill near the end of the loop.