This is my first internet race report. The last time I did a bike race the internet was in its infancy and we were yet to know what an AOL CD looked like.
The last time I raced was about 1998 or 1999. I was occasionally doing the King’s time trial in Charlestown and did a few Wells Ave. B races. I was 2-2:30 off my best times in the TT (Set in 1986-89) and sitting in at Wells Ave. was about my limit.
I had not done any racing in earnest since 1989 or 1990.
Yesterday I rode the L.L. Bean TT in Freeport ME. Solobreak had suggested that I make this race my return to bike racing. I agreed.
Not being a regular bike racer I have lost my taste for waking in the dark and driving hours for a 6am registration. Not wanting to leave the house at 2:30am Liz and I opted to drive up on Saturday and stay over at the adequate Hampton Inn. The best thing about the hotel is its location. It is about a mile from where registration was and a 5 minute walk to Gritty’s brew pub.
My Saturday pre-race prep consisted of a 3 hour drive, shopping at L.L. Bean, walking the outlets and finally dinner and drinks. I recommend the Vacationland Ale. No bike ride, no course recon just an afternoon on my feet and beer drinking, just like I used to do when I was racing.
I called Solo to give him the weather report, cool and damp, and to get my last minute Nega-Coaching. My pep talk was about what anyone familiar with Nega-Coach would expect.
A wager between Solo and Fearless Leader had been negotiated. Solo had come up with some formula using my time, his time, FL’s time and Chronoman’s time. Being Solo-math no one but Solo knew exactly how it worked but the gist seemed to be that if I did a better than expected ride FL would suffer a humiliating experience and if I did a slower than expected ride Solo would suffer the humiliation. No pressure.
Sunday morning was very foggy and cool. I got drenched riding over to registration for 6am. Being L.L. Bean employees the volunteers were all unfailingly pleasant. The registration was a screwy. I had preregistered and was first in line. I went to the table for licensed riders and once they found my name (listed by start time not a-z by name) I was handed a blank reg. form which I was to take away and fill out. Once filled out I took it over to the woman who had the race numbers. I handed it to her along with my license, which was ignored. She looked through the list and eventually found my number. I don’t know if it got more efficient later.
I went back to the hotel to eat and get dressed. About 7:45 I headed over to the start area to warm up a bit for my 8:20 start. I saw Chronoman riding around but didn’t see the rest of the BOBs until I was at the start. I took off 1 minute after FL and 30 seconds after Solo. Chronoman was a few minutes behind me.
I took off at a less than flat out pace. I was passed by my 30 second man less than 3 minutes in. The course was hillier than I expected. The road surface varied from pretty poor to very good and there were not a lot of long flat stretches. A lot of rolling ups and downs. Nothing very steep though.
My goal for the 30k was an hour. My usual rides are about 27kph, if I push a bit it is about 29-30khp. I used no aero-equipment. I was passed by many, many people. I passed one woman about 20 minutes in.
Good god it was uncomfortable. I just can’t get up any inclines with any speed. I never felt like I was in big trouble. My HR seemed to be 170-175 the whole time and tried to keep the average speed about 32kph. I forgot to start the HRM timer and accidentally reset the computer so I have no evidence.
I really faded about 45-50 minutes in. Thankfully most of the last part was good pavement and pretty flat and I was able to keep up an effort. Not knowing exactly where I was or where the finish was made things a bit tricky. I glanced at the CatEye as I crossed the line and it was 55 minutes and something I can’t remember.
I was gassed.
We didn’t stick around long. I rode around a bit the went to talk to the BOB guys and then went back to the room to get cleaned up.
We saw Fearless Leader’s motorcade on the way home and all were smiling.
Being a bit hungry we stopped in Cambridge at Mary Chung’s for lunch. It was super, the suan la chow show and dun-dun noodles really hit the spot.
No results online do far so I don’t know just how close to the bottom I am but it was a good time. I really enjoyed putting in an effort like that. It should help me with some of the tentativeness I’ve had since getting back to riding more.
Finally, I apologize to all who had to see me in a skinsuit.