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Old 03-09-09, 08:52 PM   #1
Hermes 
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Berkeley Hills Team Time Trial Race Report

Berkeley Hills Team Time Trial - March 7, 2009
16.7 miles
Category: Tandem (open)
Hermes – captain & Velodiva - stoker
Place: 3rd out of a field of 8
Time: 49:49.5

Official Results - http://www.berkeleybike.org/events/b...9_results.html
Pictures - http://www.jpimages.biz/gallery/7539...87054596_DZzAX

After all the recent rain, it was refreshing to have sunny skies and 50 degree temps on race day. The light fog lifted well before our 10:09:30 (second to last team!) start time. This is the 16.7 mile “Three Bears Course” with two major climbs and our 3rd annual team time trial on the tandem at this event.

There were 251 two person teams entered and broken down by various USCF categories - P/1/2, Masters, Elite 3/4/5, tandem and etc. Each team started as a pair and each team must finish together within one meter of each other. Equipment varied between time trial and road bikes.

We did the pre-race analysis and determined that 3rd place in our division was a possibility for us. We concluded first and second place would be secured by a significant margin. We projected that four tandem teams would be within one minute of each other competing for 3rd place. So going into the event, we knew that every second would count. Also, we knew that time would be gained or lost on the climbs after the first downhill.

We had a good start with 6 other tandems starting ahead and settled in below threshold pace - negative splits. When we got to the start of the first downhill section, a time check showed that we were approximately at the same time as the previous year. We took the downhill with moderate power and got a little recovery setting up for the right turn and commencing the climbs.

We continued along but did not see any other tandems for a while. Right before Mama Bear (the first major climb, we passed the tandem team that started 1 minutes ahead of us. As we started our climb up Papa Bear (final climb before the finish), we passed our “two-minute rabbit” with our one-minute rabbit (male-male tandem team) in sight. We finished with a personal best. We were thrilled to make the podium and 59 seconds separated 3rd and 6th place. And it doesn’t get much better than winning a pound of Peet’s coffee.

Thanks for reading.

Here are some pics:

The course – blue is elevation,green is speed and red is stoker's HR (Her HR did not drop after the start there was something wrong with the pickup in the beginning).


Us on one of the climbs, non-aero.


Us climbing Papa Bear toward the finish.


Velodiva warming up. We did not see any other tandems on trainers but we did see some riding around. This venue is tough venue upon which to warm-up. It was 40 degrees and foggy when we started and there is nothing but hills. Climbing is okay but descending is cold.


Registration and parking are at the bottom of a hill by a small reservoir. The setting is very nice. The start is at the top of a small hill.


Here are some pics of the parking area and warmup – lots of interesting equipment and people warming up on trainers.




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Last edited by Hermes; 03-10-09 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 03-10-09, 12:19 PM   #2
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Great report and pics! Wish our area had more events like that.

Amazingly consistent HR from your stoker on second half of course! Easy to tell where the engine is.

How did you copy your Ascent Activity Detail to your posting? I can't even get mine to print. I've tried to find out how to print copies, but it looks like the realm of IT pros. Don't understand why they make it so difficult - at least for me.

Also, how would your individual times compare to your tandem effort?

I was checking a similar, but longer ride I did last fall, and I got an elapsed time of 51.86 for the first 15.7 miles and 51.52 for the last 15.7 miles. Total ride was 50.7 miles, 4056 ft. climb, 18.3 mph and 3.17 min/mile.

Thanks for posting. Good to see what other folks are doing out there.
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Old 03-10-09, 01:09 PM   #3
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Why don't you have a disk brake on the front?
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Old 03-10-09, 01:47 PM   #4
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Great race report. Can I have an autograph...............no not yours, ....Velodiva's...


Your pretty much demonstrating the value of the training you've been getting. Keep it up.
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Old 03-10-09, 01:53 PM   #5
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Great report as always.
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Old 03-10-09, 02:39 PM   #6
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I rode in this event as well, with a teammate (originally cgallagh was going to be working and unable to do it tandem), in the Women's 80+ Combined age category. In retrospect we should have entered the Cat3 division, since only 2 other teams were entered, and we would have finished in the top 3.

We finished in 55:22, good enough for 10th place. No fancy graphs, but my Polar was steady at 164 except on one decent when I briefly stopped pedaling. Finished with enough kick to take the pull on the top of the last hill, pedal like hell all the way down and continue accelerating across the up hill finish line. My teammate appreciated that. We were happy with our ride and hope to do at least one more TTT this season.


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Old 03-10-09, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terex View Post
.

Amazingly consistent HR from your stoker on second half of course! Easy to tell where the engine is.
Just want to clarify that I had faulty electronic HR readings periodically in the beginning, hence, the drops in HR on the graph. My captain will attest - I am a steady turbo all the way.
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Old 03-10-09, 06:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terex View Post
Great report and pics! Wish our area had more events like that.

Amazingly consistent HR from your stoker on second half of course! Easy to tell where the engine is.

How did you copy your Ascent Activity Detail to your posting? I can't even get mine to print. I've tried to find out how to print copies, but it looks like the realm of IT pros. Don't understand why they make it so difficult - at least for me.

Also, how would your individual times compare to your tandem effort?

I was checking a similar, but longer ride I did last fall, and I got an elapsed time of 51.86 for the first 15.7 miles and 51.52 for the last 15.7 miles. Total ride was 50.7 miles, 4056 ft. climb, 18.3 mph and 3.17 min/mile.

Thanks for posting. Good to see what other folks are doing out there.
Ascent does not have a print function for the detail graph. To print or display on the Internet, one must capture an image from the screen. I use the Grab program that is provided in the utilities application provided by Leopard. Click on applications and then on utilities. Select the Grab program. While in Assent, switch to the Grab program and use the capture function to get the image you want. Then click on the close button on the image that is captured. It will ask you if you want to save it. Say yes and save it to a folder. However, the file format that was saved was a Tiff. You need a Jpeg for use in posting on the Internet. Double click on the tiff file and it will open it in Preview. You can then print the picture. From the Preview pane, click save as. It will default to save as a tiff. Click on the arrows next to the tiff and a menu will open up that will give you other save options. Save the file as a Jpeg. Now you have a file that can be saved to Photobucket and then posted on the Internet. Good luck.

On the HR and level of effort, due to all the hard work being in the last 2/3 of the course, we did a negative split meaning we increased effort toward the latter part of the course. HR is not a great indicator of level of effort. On the first climb, we were at threshold and well above threshold on the final climb and the sprint to the finish.

Previously, we rode the course on our road bikes but more for scoping it out versus time. It is a great route and ride to just go out and enjoy. We practiced the course over the years on the tandem. It is a tough time trial and the elevation gained is significant. We have contemplated racing the course as a mixed pair on time trial bikes. Since it is one of the few sanctioned races that has a tandem category, we like to use the tandem.

In general, we climb faster on our road bikes than the tandem on the steeper hills.

Also, drafting my wife is like drafting a knife she is so aero. You take a pull and then get behind her and take another pull.
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Old 03-11-09, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cone Wrench View Post
Why don't you have a disk brake on the front?
Santana does equip their forks for one. And IMO, disc brakes are heavier and more finicky than rim brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
Great race report. Can I have an autograph...............no not yours, ....Velodiva's...

Your pretty much demonstrating the value of the training you've been getting. Keep it up.
We are committed to the training routine. Thanks for the encouragement.

Autographs are a common request. And of course...hers only.

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Great report as always.
Thanks MS.
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Old 03-11-09, 10:27 AM   #10
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I would think that the rear disc brake on a tandem is like the drum brakes I used to see on them, a drag brake to provide a constant level of braking for long descents without the fear of overheating the rim and blowing the tire off the rim. Often these drag brakes were activated by a shift lever rather than a normal brake lever so a steady amount of drag could be dialed in while the rim brakes were used for finer speed adjustments. Many times this shift lever would be positioned such that the stoker, not the captain, could operate it.
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Old 03-11-09, 12:52 PM   #11
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Ascent does not have a print function for the detail graph. To print or display on the Internet, one must capture an image from the screen. I use the Grab program, etc.
Thanks! Great report.
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Old 03-11-09, 12:57 PM   #12
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I would think that the rear disc brake on a tandem is like the drum brakes I used to see on them, a drag brake to provide a constant level of braking for long descents without the fear of overheating the rim and blowing the tire off the rim. Often these drag brakes were activated by a shift lever rather than a normal brake lever so a steady amount of drag could be dialed in while the rim brakes were used for finer speed adjustments. Many times this shift lever would be positioned such that the stoker, not the captain, could operate it.
Yeah, I use the rear disc brake as a drag on my mountain bike on long steep descents, but I'm wondering why you wouldn't want a disc on the front of a tandem given all the momentum, even on the flat. I don't know much about the physics of riding a tandem, but perhaps stopping control is better with more stopping power in the back.
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Old 03-11-09, 01:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Yeah, I use the rear disc brake as a drag on my mountain bike on long steep descents, but I'm wondering why you wouldn't want a disc on the front of a tandem given all the momentum, even on the flat. I don't know much about the physics of riding a tandem, but perhaps stopping control is better with more stopping power in the back.
Stopping a tandem is slightly different from a single. Most of the stopping power for a single bike is in the front brake. The tandem has a lot more weight distributed to the rear wheel. As such, rear wheel braking is efficient.

Some manufacturers put disc brakes on the forks of tandems. Santana does not. They have their theories about the capability of disc brakes and carbon forks. As I stated, I prefer conventional rim brakes for stopping a road bicycle - tandem or single. I can see the advantage of disc brakes for mountain biking conditions.
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