My first unofficial time trial

Happy Independence Day! Of course, for us cyclists it is hard to believe that on a day like this our thoughts turn to France — the Tour De France.  Okay, so it actually starts in Monaco.  It is a city-state and not really France.

I’ll be catching the Tour action in the morning, riding some in the afternoon, and then having a great Fourth of July celebration with my family in the evening.  Yes, I will be back on my bike.  I made it back on yesterday for a 2 hour, 35 mile long ride.  I’m looking forward to getting out again.

Yesterday’s ride was one of those rides where I started out at my driveway not sure what I was going to do.  I wasn’t sure how my neck and back would hold up, so I was going to feel my way along.  I just knew the old body needed to get on the bike.

Almost immediately, the legs sent the message that they were happy.  My neck gave me no pain at all.  My right shoulder and back were not quite as happy.  However, it was nothing really painful – more like just uncomfortable.

As I rolled I loosened up more and more.  Before long I found myself heading through Cleveland Park and over to Augusta Road.  It came into my mind to ride over to Donaldson Center and put out an effort on the Time Trial course.  It would be interesting to see the time I managed.

Forty minutes after leaving the house, I rolled up to the start/finish line.  I took off hoping I might end up with a surprising time.  Something in the back of my mind was telling me I was starting out too fast.  However, that first downhill gets you going thinking you can get some good speed that will help your average later.

I was really feeling pretty good until I turned there where the country route leaves Perimeter Road.  That put me into a headwind.  Things suddenly got hard.  I kept trying to hold my speed as best I could.  However, by the time I started to climb up to the golf course where the turn around is, I was putting along.

Turning around I felt better.  This was the direction we normally head when we are doing the Tuesday Night World Championships.  There was something comforting about knowing exactly what was ahead — right down to the road surface.

I know I gave about as much as I had.  As I finished the course I had that not so happy feeling in my stomach that you get when you put out a hard effort.  My Garmin told me that my CinQo had recorded an average wattage of 294.  My time? 26.05.

There is time to gain.  First, I was not 100%.  As I finished my neck felt pretty good, but my right shoulder and my mid-back was moving out of the uncomfortable zone into the annoying ache zone.  I also had not planned on doing this, so I had not fueled up with a TT in mind.  My parfait and muffin wasn’t exactly giving me the boost I would hope.

I think I can get it up to a 300 watt average.  That should put me somewhere between 23 and 24 mph for the course.  That should get me under 26 minutes.  I would love to go out on August 6 and lay down a near 25 minute TT effort.  That wouldn’t be so bad on a road bike.

Trust you will have a wonderful day.  Don’t forget to really celebrate our country — not just the long weekend.  If you are an American, you have much to be thankful for.  I know that American Exceptionalism is frowned upon by the sophisticated of our day.  However, I never claimed to be a very cosmopolitan kind of guy.  I think we live in the greatest country on earth – even if we don’t have the Tour De France.