Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
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In general, you'll find more info on long-distance racing in the Long Distance forum, so check in there if you haven't.
I can't help much on training, so not much input there.
The Texas Time Trials course is fairly hilly, so it's not so much a matter of being fast as a matter of not killing yourself on the hills. If you live somewhere mountainous, it may be "nothing" to you, if you live some place flat, it may seem just terribly hilly. None of the hills are huge or super steep or anything, but you just keep going on them, too.
The TTT course, like many Texas roads, has been known to have a lot of chip seal, so your "most comfortable" bike may turn out to be a better choice than your "fastest" bike. If you're driving down, bring both and switch as required! If you're flying down, you may have to make the decision ahead of time. Wider tires may help if they'll fit your frame.
The TTT are in the fall, and weather is highly variable. Two or three years ago, I did the 500 mile race. I thought I was going to freeze one night, stopped for a quick sleep break, and got chilled while off the bike and took about 8 miles to warm up again. Then the last afternoon, some local riders doing the 6 hour ride just about collapsed in the heat. So be prepared for hot or cold or wet.
Are you doing long-distance riding now? If so, experiment on the nutrition as you do. One lesson I've learned is that what sounds good at the start of a ride doesn't sound good after I've been riding a long time. So for something like TTT, I try to bring a variety of food and hope at least some of it sounds good when I need it.
The long distance female riders that I know just cycle right through their cycle, doesn't phase 'em much. A 26-mile loop may be a little easier to deal with than doing cross-country races with a follow car.
If you have a chance to visit the area, we have randonneuring rides that go over the course, let some people know you're coming ahead of time, and you can likely round up some co-riders. We're coming into the hot season, so be prepared for that!
If you'd like crew to help out in your pit area and don't have anyone traveling with you, ask around ahead of time, and you may find some local people to help- try the TT message board closer to the race or try the Lone Star Randonneurs message board ahead of time.
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."