September 27, 2005

It’s been a millenium since I last posted a blog. I almost feel as if I should start over given my new mission: to win the Jones Falls Valley Celebration Time Trial. I think that was the genesis of this whole thing… But on an even deeper level I’m really dialed in to the notion of working everyday at something and my improvement at cycling I am very proud of. Now it’s time to do even better.

The good: I improved my abysmal time of 31:24 on the Jones Falls Valley TimeTrial to a 24:53. I think the course was shortened a bit which I think could account for about a minute’s worth of time or so. Even still, the winning amateur time in 2004 was 26:53 and I think I could contend for that now.

The bad: I was 21st overall, 17th among amateurs. That seemed to spit in the face of the effort. I mean who goes around accepting congratulations for placing 21st?—three minutes off the winner. Exactly. So it’s back to work. I’ve been getting into my daily ride again. (west on Argonne to University, Up Roland Ave. Left on Lake. North on Falls Rd. East on Ruxton. South on Bellona. South on York. East on 43rd. And Back). Everytime I proceed to pat myself on my back I think about the minutes tha I lost to the others… So I’ve got to work even harder to reach enlightenment.

After the race, my legs hurt for about a week. I think I made a mistake with my bike. It may have been too heavy for the hills… I can think of a billion things that may have led to setbacks, yet like Charles Barkley said, “You can come up with a thousand excuses, but the bottom line is you have to play well.” ‘Nuff said. So onto the future…

Well, I rode today and placed a time of 42:58 over 22.9km which was an average of 32k/hr. Which is very fast minus the fact that I forgot to start the clock after a light for about a quarter mile or about twenty seconds. I’m not sure what accounts for the speed, because it was tremendously windy. Maybe it was my wearing the timetrial helmet. Today I did a better job of not trying to exhaust myself on the hills. Infact I felt like I was resting on the hills, since it was so windy on the straights.

Results of the 2005 Time Trial

21st place with a time of 24m53s.

Body: The results have been posted on the Mt Washington Bike Shop website (mtwashingtonbikes.com) but I can give you the skinny of the way things went down… Kris Auer (pro) a Mt Washington Bike Shop employee won the race this year (21:12) after he came in second last year (24:15. The winning (pro) time last year was a 22:50). Last year’s winning amateur time was 26:15.

Looking back I can say that I made a strong effort—one with which I am modestly happy. I felt a little weird early on in the race and I had a slight problem at the end where I had to slow down because I thought I had a flat and it turned out to be the wheel rubbing the gear changer, for a minute, as I climbed a hill (I don’t know if either of these slowed me down a whole lot. For those who didn’t know I built a time trial bike by modifying my number two bike cutting handle bars and using wheels donated by Carlton and getting a disk cover for the back wheel).

My time was a 24:52 which, all in all, was pretty good. I placed 21st (17th among amateurs) neither of which I’m really enamored with. My aim was for a solid top ten. But, I think my effort shows definite progress a facet which I should not overlook. For every minute I lost to the leaders, I can think of a reason why I’m not faster, so I know I can improve. And I could also note that Kris Auer, one strong rider, who I know rode the race last year improved his time 3 minutes, gives me reason to believe that I did indeed improve my speed somewhat dramatically.

Considering last year, I did a 31:24—and did a “25” this time—I’m satisfied with the level of work I put into the race and the training that went up to it. That said, I think there was more I could have achieved and I was looking to be in the 23m range. So in considering progress, the amateur winning time last year of 26m is something that I could have contended for.