I’ve been invited to a time trial held every Tuesday night near Carbondale for several months, last Tuesday I was in the area, actually returning a time trial helmet I had borrowed and not used during the Tour de Corn, and I found they had a pretty good turn out. I finally decided to go last night, only one other person showed up. I made the best of it and rode hard.
As hard as I could, I don’t think I could have squeezed one more watt out of my body, when I finished the ride I was trashed. The route is 7 miles out and 7 miles back and a hilly windy rode, the last mile was pretty much up hill and fairly steep, I’d say it was a challenging course.
The guy who showed up asked how long I thought it might take me to ride it. I kind of planned on an average of 18 and guesstimated 50 minutes. (ed note: not a bad guess but it would have been 47 minutes.) Keith, the other guy, said he’d give me a ten minute head start, he said a good time for him was between 41-42 minutes.
During the ride I used a combination of leg pain and heart rate to gauge my effort, the heart rate meter was useful in the easier sections to watch for a lull in my effort. Near the turn around I ran across The Bike Surgeon ladies night bike ride, see Carbondale is a big enough town where they have bike shops, bike riders, and bike rides, they even have a special ride just for ladies, shame its an hour away.
I turned around and started heading back down the road towards the women cyclists and they gave me both something to chase and a little extra shot of motivation. It wasn’t long before I passed them. The way back was easier than the way out and I found my average speed was recovering from the big climb. I couldn’t believe that I was going to finish this ride in 41 minutes and 45 seconds. At 20.5 mph that’s my highest average speed for a ride ever.
That’s enough patting myself on the back, for now I have a feeling if I hadn’t been watching the Tour de France for the past 4 days and chasing down a group of lady cyclists I wouldn’t have been nearly as fast. By the way, more on the Tour de France in my next post.