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Tour of the Valley Time Trial (Stage 1)

27 Jul 2012 12:37 PM | Anonymous

The weekend kicked off Friday night with an 8.4 mile time trial that started from Mastropietro Winery.  The venue is really cool, with food, a live band, and if you wish wine after the time trial.  Time trialing is one of my strengths and it would be the one event during the weekend where the results would be primarily in my hands, so I had high expectations.  The first part of my warm up went well, it was my 1st time using power, so it was kind of fun to mess around with that while getting a good solid warm up.  Things turned a bit south about 20 minutes before my start time, when while as embarrassing as it is to admit, I actually somehow fell over while trying to turn around in the middle of the road.  The bike and myself were mostly unharmed, with the exception of a pretty good bruise on the palm of my hand and to my ego.  To make matters worse, as I hopped back on the bike to complete my warm up with my 1min intervals, I discovered that my bike kept trying to skip out of gear when in my 11 tooth.  Typically this would not be a concern, because heck when would I need a 54x11, but the last 1 mile drag was slightly downhill and with the wind.  I tried several things to fix it, but only caused myself to nearly miss my start time.  I managed to put everything behind me and actually had a good time trial, passing my 30 second guy within the first 3 miles, my minute guy within 5 miles, and my minute 30 guy within the last mile.  The overall effort was hard, as it felt like a strong headwind for 75% of the course, and sure enough the last mile with the wind was complicated by the chain skipping when under load in the 11 tooth.  Despite this I crossed the finish feeling pretty confident that my time would put me on the podium. 

After my cool down, I discovered that my rear tire was really soft and I was certain I had fully inflated it prior to the time trial.  I threw some air in the tire to see if it would hold air, changed, and headed off to grab some food with my family, and check results.  Looking at the posted results I was horrified to not even see my name in the top 6, or 10, 20…, I was not even on the results list!!  To make things even more disturbing, the winning time was listed as 16 minutes, over 3 minutes faster than I had gone, and 2 minutes faster than the Pro/1/2 winning time.  There was also an 18 minute time that rivaled the winning Pro/1/2 time, so with those times and given the time that I had thought I ran it appeared that the best I could do would be 5th place and that was once I figured out what the heck happened to my result.  Long story short, after a bunch of stress and effort on my part and the race official’s the many errors were corrected, the 16 and 18 minute times went away and my time was figured out, putting me in 3rd place.  So a podium finish, but much more stress than I had hoped for the evening.  To add more stress to things I still wanted to figure out what was going on with my rear tire, which would take more time once I got back to the hotel for the evening.  As it turned out, it seemed that the valve may have been bad or there was a slight leak in the tire, because it was corrected by pumping a bit of Slime that I picked up from K-mart into the tire (yes,  Slime from K-mart).  As to if it was low during the actual TT, I only have to assume it was at least a bit low, but dwelling on what could have been would do nothing for me for the weekend and I was satisfied with a 3rd place result. 

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