I have always wanted to race a TT, toying with the idea of entering state champs a few years back, then not wanting to commit to the road efforts amidst all the MTB racing. I think it's because I do so much riding by myself, I figured if I can get motivated to hurt myself solo than maybe I would go orright at these TT things.
This race was part of a Brisbane-based women's series, and as such I thought it would be worth a crack despite my lack of fitness (it's getting there. Slowly) and lack of fancy apparel. Plus, if I sucked, I can still use the 'i'm not fit' thing, which is a great excuse and gets bandied around as much as the 'I have small children and I didn't get any sleep last night'. To be fair i'll probably be using this one until Elva's six. At least.
Rule of parenting #1: The night you need the most sleep is the one you'll get the least.
Anyway, back to TT's, who would want to look like a sperm anyway? I understand if you're planning on racing TT at a high level, but it cracks me up the amount of overweight old-mates and creepers that don skinsuits, tri-bars and sperm hats for a club meet, but hey, whatever floats your boat I suppose! It's probably the equivalent of the old mates at MTB races turning up on $10,000 bikes and creeping around. To be honest, I did try on my MTB skinsuit to see if it would work...but it just wasn't right when paired with breastfeeding boobs. Lo-fi is the new hi-fi anyway.
To me, 'getting aero' for the TT consists of getting into one of these on the start line:
So anyway, up early to take the scenic hilly route to the event, because the TT itself was only 20km so if i'm giving up a long ride to race i'm going to make it count, goddamnit! This doubled as a warmup (despite being freezing upon arrival at Closeburn).
I arrive to the 'zzzzzzing' of serious looking people on rollers. I ditch my (awesome) alloy roadie with the cheapest tyres money can buy (not a 'fast' rolling tyre, but flat they don't...) to enter.
I await Aido and 'lil pea as they were coming out for a morning adventure.
The sun was shining but it was freezing waiting in line to be the 29th rider set off, in 30sec intervals.
Without a Garmin etc, I decided that the best option would be to divide the race up into quarters and start below threshold and work up, expecting the third quarter to be the worst (it was). This worked pretty well except my timing was a fair bit off, working off a much more conservative estimate of what my average speed would be. I also noticed that I probably backed off too much on the descents for recovery. So while I finished super strong, there was maybe too much left in the tank at the end, but hey, it's a steep learning curve for a humble MTB'er. Being this far back was probably a good and bad thing, it meant I had someone to chase, but after I caught the rider in front it seemed that I just kept catching riders rather than having a carrot at a good similar speed to try and reel in.
|Post race with 'lil pea.|
|She looked most similar to the one on the top right.|
I finished feeling great, probably a little bit too awesome for having just raced, but the day was heating up, there was a coffee cart in attendance and all was well.
I ended up sixth overall, not too bad for a first timer. Not a great time but alright considering where I am at. It's a race of truth and sometimes the truth hurts, literally!