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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 06-11-07, 06:38 PM   #1
Hermes 
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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.
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Old 06-11-07, 07:02 PM   #2
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I love reading your race posts. . .
Someday.
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Old 06-11-07, 07:29 PM   #3
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Great TT report!
Yes, elevation matters, especially if you are not acclimated to it.
Curious, what kind of handlebars snapped on the Calfee? Alu/carbon?
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Old 06-11-07, 08:11 PM   #4
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Great job on a tough course. Just think of the fittness that you gained in that effort. You'll be flying the next time out.

Good luck on the next one.

We're taking off for our week long tour this coming Sat. It'll be 300 miles of fairly relaxed riding. We have a 20k TT on a rolly course 7 days after we get back from the tour. I don't think the tour type riding will help much with the TT, hmm...on the other hand, 300 miles in a week has to do something.

Once agian, great effort.
Shayne
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Old 06-11-07, 09:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem
Great TT report!
Yes, elevation matters, especially if you are not acclimated to it.
Curious, what kind of handlebars snapped on the Calfee? Alu/carbon?
The captain said that he had real TT bars on the bike not clip ons. I do not remember if they were carbon. However, considering the level of competition, I assume they were carbon bars. I am vague on the failure mode and what exactly failed.
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Old 06-11-07, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayne
Great job on a tough course. Just think of the fittness that you gained in that effort. You'll be flying the next time out.

Good luck on the next one.

We're taking off for our week long tour this coming Sat. It'll be 300 miles of fairly relaxed riding. We have a 20k TT on a rolly course 7 days after we get back from the tour. I don't think the tour type riding will help much with the TT, hmm...on the other hand, 300 miles in a week has to do something.

Once agian, great effort.
Shayne
Thanks. Easy solution...on one of the days, through in some LT intervals when no one is looking.
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Old 06-11-07, 11:26 PM   #7
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The Stoker Perspective: 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 on 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 and a bloody elbow. That was a sure fire way to get my heart rate up. Now in retrospect, it was pretty funny. I must admit, Hermes is an excellent captain - this was our only tandem mishap. And it did not affect our 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 particular 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, bu 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!
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Old 06-12-07, 12:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velodiva
The Stoker Perspective: We did about 20 minutes on 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 and a bloody elbow. That was a sure fire way to get my heart rate up. Now in retrospect, it was pretty funny.
I will leave to your imagination what it was like at the time versus now. I probably got another 25 watts at the starting line from the stoker.
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Old 06-12-07, 04:55 AM   #9
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just 25 extra watts? you will have to try harder next time



glenn
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Old 06-12-07, 06:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velodiva
The Stoker Perspective: 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.)
Sleeping at lower altitude can help. Your body has to work harder to get oxygen at the higher altitude.
Altitude insomnia
Altitude insomnia is an acute insomnia that occurs when people go to higher altitudes. Usually accompanied by headaches, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Twenty-five percent of individuals who go from sea level to 2,000 meters will have some symptoms. Also called Acute mountain sickness, Acosta’s disease, Alpine sickness, and hypobaropathie.
I was surprised that they say the effect can occur at 6k'. We always used 8k' as the cut off altitude and I have a number of times I have been able to test that. However I have not had the opportunity to experience a sea level to 6k sleep
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Old 06-15-07, 10:56 AM   #11
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Never had much of an issue with altitude, although stoker Kay (with 75% lung capacity) can suffer at the 8 to 9,000+ foot level.
To solve that problem we used to drive up Tucson's area Mt. Lemmon (8.000+ ft). and hike, then sleep at that altitude the week before the tough/long climb/ride to the Sunrise Ski Lodge (9,200') in nothern Arizona's White Mountains.
Worked well for us a few years back, as we managed to snare the prize for first tandem to arrive at the ski lodge. Amusingly, we were the last tandem to start as we were being interviewed by the local newspaper that delayed our start by at least 10 minutes. Made up the time in the tough 60+ mile event.
What a stoker!!!
Pedl on TWOgether!
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Old 06-15-07, 02:34 PM   #12
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So, Capt. H exceeded the critical angle? And right before a race? I hope you severely remediated him for his negligence. Perhaps he momentarily confused the Santana with a mountain tandem.

Not to minimize your bloodiness but what about the bike? Was it scratched?

Reading both your reports was very enjoyable, almost like having you guys over for a post-race meal again. Congratulations on your successful event!
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Old 06-15-07, 02:54 PM   #13
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So, Capt. H exceeded the critical angle? And right before a race? I hope you severely remediated him for his negligence. Perhaps he momentarily confused the Santana with a mountain tandem.

Not to minimize your bloodiness but what about the bike? Was it scratched?

Reading both your reports was very enjoyable, almost like having you guys over for a post-race meal again. Congratulations on your successful event!
He did not exceed the critical angle. He just ran out of road and decided to use the fine gravel birm which turned out to be a very bad idea. We shielded the bike with out bodies as expected - the bike was unscathed.
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