This Sunday Mike and I headed to Piru, a bit north of the LA area, for our first cycling race: a 20k Time Trial. I needed to do another FTP test, so this seemed like a good way to do it.
Dark and early we packed up the bikes and headed out, only forgetting the trainer, which made it hard to warm up (plus we only have one!). We found the site pretty easily, and soon learned that the basically flat route we for some reason thought we’d find wasn’t so flat. It is a regularly used course, and experienced riders were talking about the steady climb section on the way back, and the rollers both ways. We had heard though that it would be not a question of if there was wind, but which direction it would be going.
We got registered, and learned to pin on our numbers for this sport (on your side, sideways, with the bottom of the numbers toward your belly, and using a pin at each corner, the leading and back edge, and on the top). We also learned how hard it is to pin a number on a trisuit that leaves little to the imagination 😉 But I do like my new outfit! Super comfy.
I was to start at 9:18, and Mike at 9:18:30. We waited around the start once things were moving, and soon I was up. The guy at the line held my seat, and they told me to hold my breaks and clip in. Then they gave me a warning to start putting pressure on the pedals, and to release my breaks, and I was off! Ok make it hurt time.
So I did. I pedaled hard. It hurt. I pedaled some more. I wanted to keep that pain in my legs and that pressure on the pedals. I stayed aero the whole time. And I flew. When I looked at my PT data later I found that for the out part of the 20k I averaged 24.7 mph, and 152 watts. And the 6.13 miles took me 14:52 (I missed the first bit since the PT had fallen asleep). And Mike (who passed me about 2 miles in) was only about half a mile ahead – results of my ability to realize the downhill/wind and push a bit harder than he does in those cases.
That was the tailwind and net downhill direction. After the turnaround it no longer seemed like my work was paying off quite as much. And it was definitely a bit climbier, to where I did sit up once or twice, and I did use my easiest gear in the back (but never needed the small ring in the front). So I just kept focusing on how close I was to the finish. Heck the whole bike race was shorter than my run race the previous weekend… how bad could it be? 😉 A turn, and the end was in sight. Pleased and with sore legs I pushed through the line, and then was onto the brakes and done.
As a testament to the course and the wind, for the second half I only averaged 16.7 mph although I averaged 167 watts. And those 6.24 miles took me 22:23. All said and done, my official time was 37:40something I think. 1st place in the women’s public division. From the PT: 12.38 miles, 161 watts avg (166 norm), 19.9mph, and 37:17.
It was a nice, small, family feeling race. I hope to go back and do more of their 20ks and maybe 40ks once they start up later this year.