I’ve raced at PIR multiple times in their Tuesday night weekly road race series, but never had the opportunity to race a Time Trial around the track before. This year Bike Tires Direct held the first (that I know of) individual time trial out at PIR. The course was run in the counter clockwise direction and was 6 laps in length (approximately 12 miles, but looks to be closer to 11.6 miles).
The race format was similar to other TT’s with riders starting in one minute intervals. They had the start gate walled off with cones as well as the finishing stretch that lead into the warm up area when finished. Each rider was responsible for counting their own laps.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with how crowded or not so crowded the course would be with multiple riders going on the course…but it turned out to be just fine. There was plenty of room to move around and generally always somebody to chase down, or be passed by. The corners were all wide enough that you never needed to get out of your aerobars, but the hairpin turn on the back side of the course was tight and you had to hit the apex correctly at high speed to remain in good control.
My first lap was probably my fastest, but in reality was a bit too fast since my second lap was probably my slowest of the day. But after recovering a little I was able to pick my pace up each consecutive lap after that. Coming around on my second lap the guy who I figured to be my toughest competition had just left the starting gate and had about 200 meters on me by the end of the long straight, so this gave me somebody to chase and pace off of for a few laps.
As the next few laps ticked by I was slowly gaining ground on him and heading into the 5th lap passed him along the front straight. I’m not sure how much distance I put on him from there since he now had somebody to pace off of.
The last lap I actually felt pretty good all things considered and was able to turn in a good effort coming into the finish.
Overall time was 25:14 and going off of a distance of 11.54 miles (a teammates Garmin distance) I had an average speed of 27.44 mph, which is the first time I’ve broken 27 mph in a TT of any distance. This was good enough for 1st place in the masters 40+ class by 30 seconds and was my first win on the season.
The race format was great and everybody I talked with really enjoyed the race. I’m hoping they will keep it for future races as well…maybe have a Team Time Trial format one of these days. The only change I’d like to see is them adding a lap or two to the race to get the times closer to the 30 minute range.
I’m pretty happy with the effort since I’ve made a ton of changes to my position on my TT bike since my last race back in February. I put on a new set of bars Vision bars that I picked up from a teammate and installed a new seat post the night before the race…basically a regular road seat post that was turned in the reverse direction to move my seat forward and give me an effective seat tube angle of 78 degrees compared to my stock 76 degree seat tube angle.
Given all the changes and this was my first real hard effort riding with them I’m more than happy with the results. I did find that I needed to drop my seat my a small amount as I had a little pain in the back of my left knee at the end of the race, but that quickly went away after I finished and a small drop in the seat should take care of that for the upcoming State Championship ITT’s in two weeks.
So this race for me was to check out all the changes in my position as well as to see where my fitness is at right now for time trials. Getting the win was extra bonus on the day J
My goal in two weeks will to break 55 minutes over 40K at the ITT championships, which I think I can do, but a lot will depend on the conditions. Long term forecast has rain and low 60’s for temperatures, but considering how far out that is…it should change a lot between now and then.
Photos Courtesy of: Nick Blacklock