2020.04.11 – Long Island Social Distancing TT #2

Week number two seems to have snuck up on me. Early in the week I got some bike commutes to work, Monday with Rhea (Goddess of Comfort,) my training road bike, and Tuesday with Brighid (the Celtic Saint and Goddess of Poetry, Healing and Smith-craft,) my single speed fixed gear road going bike. On Wednesday I was able to take equipment home from work to setup my work from home environment, and therefore I did an interval session on Juno (Queen of the Gods,) my race road bike, on the trainer. Thursday and Friday I got caught up with work that I did not get to ride.

On Saturday morning, I loaded the car up with the three bikes, Rhea, Juno, and Brighid. The idea was to warm up on Rhea, race with Juno, and then perform another lap with Brighid, to assess what gear setup I waned to use for when I try the event with her. At the moment she has a 46t x 17t setup, but I am considering a 48t x somewhere round 17t.

Anyway, once loaded up, my mother and I took to the road and headed out to the venue. We arrived around eleven in the morning, which got me on the course at eleven fifteen to warmup. There was a strong wind in the air, blowing from west/north-west at eighteen miles per hour with gusts up to twenty-four.

It took me just under twenty minutes to do a warmup lap. Despite the wind and chill in the air, I was warm and ready to go. I swapped bikes, pulled off my warmups and rolled over to the starting line. I decided to do a track stand start to see if it would help me improve my time. I started the camera, did a quick loop by the start, approached the forty mile per hour sign, and eased up into a track stand. I reached down and hit start on my Garmin, and proceeded to stomp hard on the pedals.

I took off hard and put the effort into getting up to speed as fast as I could. I had support from a good tail wind on this road, so I was going to try to maximize the benefits. Every time I race this bike, I am always blown away by how this bike accelerates and gets moving. I rocketed up the hill before the golf course, and kept the power on while clicking through the gears. Once I was up the hill, I mentally told myself to keep going and not to ease up. For this mile and a half sector I was able to average around 28.2 miles per hour.

Before I knew it, I was arriving at turn one. A car coming in the opposite direction kept me from hugging the center line in order to sweep through the turn with out coasting. I did not ease off the pedals, or speed, but, unfortunately with a messed up trajectory I found myself on the other side of the road after I made the turn. I tried to get back to my side as fast as I could because I could be faced with a head on vehicle coming over the small rise in the road which is right after the turn.

This sector was probably my worst one. River Road takes a south/west direction, and therefore the wind was mostly coming from my right side at a ninety degree angle. For the most part the area is protected by tress, but, there are some small sections where it opens up and I got hit pretty hard by some strong gusts of wind to the point that I almost though I would go down and hit the deck. This broke some of my concentration and it made me back off for a few seconds to regain my composure.

To compensate, I was trying to distribute my weight evenly over the bike. Too much weight up front, and my rear could kick out. Too much weight in the back would unload my font wheel. You do not want to loose your front wheel, because if you do, it is very hard to recover from that.

After what felt like forever, I passed the half way point, and arrived at Wading River Manor Road. I made my right hand turn, turn two, and started to head back north-west. On River Road, I averaged about 22.8 miles per hour.

Now I was facing the wind head on. This was more stable for me, but of course it meant that I had to fight the headwind. I tried to get as low as I could in an effort to reduce my frontal profile as much as possible with out sacrificing power output. My speed here for the 1.3 mile sector was about 21.7 miles per hour. Just before turn three, we finally hit the eighth kilometer, so mentally I know I am close to the end. However, as uplifting as it might sound, my body and lungs are screaming through out these last two kilometers, making them feel like they will never end.

After making turn three, this sector that we tackle is Schultz Road/Wading River Manor Road, and we are heading north. It is only a half mile stretch of road, although it really feels like time is starting to slow down. I managed to average 21.8 miles per hour.

Turn four finally came up, and I turned east back on Grumman Boulevard. Here I was greeted by a very nice tail wind, just like I had at the start. I gritted my teeth, and punched it, even when facing the small rises in the road. I clicked through my gears, bringing my heart rate up to 181, and getting an average speed of 28.2 miles per hour I only had a half of mile to go to the finish.

As Line Road approached, the finish line, I poured it all out, stopping the computer just as the yellow line disappeared under my front wheel with a finishing time of 15:22.08, a whopping forty second improvement form the week before. I averaged 24.2 miles per hour for the full Time Trial. I felt good, and terrible at the same time. I was quite destroyed from the effort, so much so that I did not ride the course on my fixed gear single speed bike. I packed up and headed home, still quite satisfied. Despite that good effort I put in, I feel that I have some areas where I can improve, and I will definitely try to make that happen in the upcoming weeks.

I worked on the video and posted it. However the data in the video is a bit suspect as it seems my Garmin Virb camera had some issues with the data feed from my cycling accessories: power meter, cadence, speed sensor, etc, so please take that information with a grain of salt.


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