We held our first event for 2011 last night in the TT series we put on at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I was very pleased with the event itself--weather was perfect, well attended particularly for the first event, NO safety incidents and we had an ample number of volunteers. We do a series of 6 -10 mile TT's for riders ages 10 and above for the year. We will have one event a month through September.
It takes a ton of people to register riders, set up the start/finish area, put out sponges for sight lines on the backstretch, remove timing chips, hold cyclists at the start, run the timing system, marshall the start area for safety and also marshall the 1.5 miles for rules compliance and safety incidents (would anyone really try and draft off another rider???). We had plenty of experienced help and most everything went like clockwork.
I usually get there about 4-5 hours before the start and check on things at the track--making sure garage doors/bathrooms are unlocked where we set up Registration, pit road walls are moved around to meet our needs, gates are unlocked, etc----and work on my Blackberry handling urgent work matters. Fortunately there were no cars practicing or driving schools running on the track so I could do some early setup on pit road.
I've also been the event "starter" so after the physical labor of setting up I get to stand up on the concrete for 1-2 hours getting riders lined up, poking fun of them, gushing over the expensive bikes and doing general announcements on our sound system---when I can talk over our loud music! So towards the end of the event I jump on my trainer for a warm up and last night I only got in 10 mins which is about 1/2 of the minimum time I really need.
I was curious to see how I'd do after missing several months of training and it was about what I would have expected. I was slow. Doing a TT with no drafting assistance is a terrific barometer of where you stand fitness wise---at least for me. Most of my riding has been trying to build endurance and I have not done that much interval work and it really showed. I purposely kept my HR lower than normal as I knew I'd could easily blowup much sooner. My TT HR normally averages around 175-180 (my max is 194) and last night it averaged around 170. I spun a little easier gear with a slightly higher cadence and thus my speed was a little slower. I think I averaged about 24.6 mph and would hope I can get it back up to the 26 mph range sometime this year.
To do that I just need to get in with some faster groups and get my butt kicked around but that has not been a priority. I missed the opportunity to do that over the winter but that's okay.
For all you out of towners I have scheduled our first weekend event on July 23 so you will have to plan to come join us. We have riders of all ages and abilities and riding all types of bikes. Heck, I did my first TT out there on a mountain bike with slicks! I'm expecting a big turnout on the 23rd since it will allow folks to travel without hopefully disrupting their normal weekday routines. Here is our website (that my brother manages for us):