Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mr. TTT Pities the Fools

The Reno Wheelmen hosted a Team Time Trial out at Cold Springs last night; 2 laps for a total of 14 miles. I joined a team with Nate, Pete, and Graham, none of whom I'd ever ridden with. I think most teams practice ahead of time!

Pointy helmets ambling about...must be a time trial

Team Eclipse discusses pizza toppings on the start line

OK, so I've got a pointy helmet, but I don't have any of the other usual grams-of-drag-shaving TT garb like aero booties or a skinsuit. My substitutes? Winter shoe covers in lieu of aero booties, and Patagonia Biostretch long underwear (! least it was white) in lieu of a skinsuit. Much like a Formula 1 car, I'm instantly overheating while standing still. And the comparison ends there.

After a few minutes of introductions and Teamwork 101, we were off.

Ready for a quick lesson on how a TTT works? Alrighty. So you've got a team, and the goal is to get the team (or most of it) around the course as quickly as possible. The fastest way to get a small group of riders around is to ride as close together as is safe, and to take turns at the front of the line where there's no benefit of a draft. So from above, you'd see a line of riders, nose to tail, and then every so often, the front rider would peel off and coast to the back of the line, where he/she would rejoin. Once peeled off the front, that rider is recovering and getting ready for his/her next turn at the front. Rinse, repeat, make adjustments on the fly depending on who's getting tired, and call it a day. Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Team 13 (that's us) up to speed

Graham cramped at the end of the first lap and peeled off, but that was OK since our time would be the third guy across the line, meaning that dropping one guy wouldn't disqualify us. It also meant more work for the three of us, but that's OK too.

We did a good job riding safe and avoiding road hazards, a good job communicating, and a good job of not surging through when the lead rider peeled off. No doubt we should have ridden together as a team for some practice before race-day warmup, but we came through OK. I also think we could have held a higher effort throughout, but that's just my take; the teammates would have to chime in.

Reuniting with our missing team member at the finish line

(Ethel took all the photos; thanks babe!)

Good times all 'round, and now I've got a TTT under my belt.

Looking forward to the Donner Lake Int'l Triathlon on Sunday; feeling fit.

Past Detritus