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If you ever need Fredfirmation....

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If you ever need Fredfirmation....

Old 07-02-09, 01:33 PM
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If you ever need Fredfirmation....

....then go to the Nationals TT.

Yesterday I hopped on my bike and rode down to Taylorsville, site of the Masters National TTs (18 miles one way). It was a cloudy breezy day, with gusts of wind going from west to east. As I was traveling north to south, a few times I felt like it would blow me clear off the road.

I ride a nice bike but when I pulled into the staging area I felt as if I were riding a Huffy and had showed up for the Tuesday Night Worlds. The rigs there were magnificant, most of them easily starting at the $5000 range. Folks were on their trainers getting warmied up, others wandering around visiting with folks from around the country. The vibes seemed to be good.

TT bikes also just sound different when they whiz by. It looks like they run the tire pressure at 300 psi, so the wheels make an odd hissing sound when they go by you.

And the event looked like something out of Versus.

Here was the starting house:


Only a few were decked out in nonTT gear:


The announcers kept you very well informed and seemed to know most of the cyclists personally. My favorite line was "he just flogged himself like a rented mule to turn in a time that fast!":


Given the winds, as the racers went due east and came back due west, I can't imagine there being any negative splits. And these guys were fast. The winning time in the age group I was watching (I think it was 40-45 or so) were almost 30 MPH over 14 miles.

So I felt like a Fred but it was pretty cool. Then I had some coffee and a pastry at the Tea Cup in Taylorsville, quite possibly the best such establishment in the world.

I hope the racers don't rag too much about the whole thing. Evidently there were a few snags but this was all new to the locals. And anything that puts cycling in a positive light around here increases the chances of me living through another ride in da boonies.

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Old 07-02-09, 02:00 PM
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[QUOTE=The Weak Link;9208824TT bikes also just sound different when they whiz by. It looks like they run the tire pressure at 300 psi, so the wheels make an odd hissing sound when they go by you.[/QUOTE]

How about the sound the carbon wheels make? that would drive me crazy!
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Old 07-02-09, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How about the sound the carbon wheels make? that would drive me crazy!
But its only the rear wheel that is a disc wheel- and if you go fast enough- you don't hear it-only feel the 200psi.
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Old 07-02-09, 02:54 PM
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They may have been carbon wheels. I'd never seen anything that high-tech before. They didn't look like they were designed for comfort.
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Old 07-02-09, 02:59 PM
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This is should be a totally Fredelicious discussion of the Road TT Nationals. Great start.
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Old 07-02-09, 03:11 PM
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Naturally the racers were on exotic bikes. Bike racing is not a poor boy's sport. But are you saying the fans were on such expensive bikes? That would be a lot different than my experiences.

When I have attended stages of the Tour de Georgia, the people who came on bikes to watch were on a wide variety of bikes. There were more nice bikes around on the mountain stages because you had to be a pretty decent rider to make it to the places. But even there a typical 105 level bike would have blended in easily. When I have been to races on the streets of Atlanta, most people seemed to be on ratty old mountain bikes or beaters. There were some nice bikes around, but they stood out.
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Old 07-02-09, 03:27 PM
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When the TDF was in England- I rode out to the second days racing to watch it. I am not kidding when I say that the spectators had some pretty expensive bikes with them. Talked to a couple and they had parked the car about 3 miles away and rode in. Met one that had come down from near London- about 60 miles or so-and was riding back. His bike was nothing special- A hand built Chromoly steel frame made about 5 years ago- Spinergy wheels- and D.A.Running gear. And this was his fun bike

There were plenty of expensive bikes that day amongst the Spectators- But never really got to view the race bikes- "Here they come- OH They've gone.
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Old 07-02-09, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Naturally the racers were on exotic bikes. Bike racing is not a poor boy's sport. But are you saying the fans were on such expensive bikes? That would be a lot different than my experiences.
Most racers I think had two bikes with them, their time trial rig and their road bike on which to warm up and such. The road bikes looked like cheap pieces of crap from what I could tell.

I was so slack-jawed deer-in-the-headlights with the TT rigs that I didn't pay much attention to the other spectators' bikes. And there weren't a lot of them anyway. We're talking Taylorsville, KY.
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Old 07-02-09, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
I was so slack-jawed deer-in-the-headlights with the TT rigs that I didn't pay much attention to the other spectators' bikes. And there weren't a lot of them anyway. We're talking Taylorsville, KY.
When somebody mentioned bike racing I am sure the locals thought Hogs.

Sounds like a good day. I imagine some riders were sponsored had had access to the best gear. Others were on thier own and had access to what ever thier wallets could provide. Some of these guys have more money in thier wheels than I have in the entire new bike I bought two summers ago.
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Old 07-02-09, 04:52 PM
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That pretty much describes the way I felt at my first TT -- like the guy who brought a moped to the Harley convention. I think some front wheels were worth more than my entire rig.
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Old 07-02-09, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
When somebody mentioned bike racing I am sure the locals thought Hogs.

Sounds like a good day.
I imagine some riders were sponsored had had access to the best gear. Others were on thier own and had access to what ever thier wallets could provide. Some of these guys have more money in thier wheels than I have in the entire new bike I bought two summers ago.
This is the Masters Road Nationals. I can speak for my wife and I as well as many of the racers from our area who go to Nationals pay all the cost of racing including equipment, travel and shipping of equipment. I would assume it is the same in other parts of the country. What I see in your pictures is typical equipment that most have at TT races locally.

In the Elite Nationals, there will be sponsored riders from the domestic pro teams who will have sponsorships that pick up the tab for travel and equipment.

My wife and I had planned to go this year but there were too many conflicts and it is a lot of hassle shipping two bikes, trainers and etc to compete in the road and TT events.
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