A great event – do yourself a favour!
On Sunday morning the Richmond Boulevard was closed to traffic, turning points were marked and serious faces and slick electronic timing we deployed!
Why? Yarra Tri put on their first Time Trial event for the season and it was fun to watch and, judging from the smiles and “if onlys..”, fun to participate. The organisation and facilities were absolutely spot on.
There were events for both individuals and teams and there was a wide mix of skill levels in both. I had a chat with Grant Rice from Richmond Cyclery and we both see enormous potential for such a well run concept in a great, easily accessible venue.
Some weeks ago this event was launched for 2011 with a presentation/information night with Jonathan Hall at Richmond Town Hall. Inspired by this, the next day I decided to pick one of our customers who had no experience with a TT (bike or event) and convince him to “give it a go”.
We’ll call our test subject “Bruce”, principally because that’s the name his parents gave him. Bruce, known for his focus (polite term), had 4 weeks to prepare (plus two weeks on a beach somewhere). He is fit and had recently completed the Chain Reaction charity ride from Sydney to Melbourne and so had a few kms under his belt. Best of all Bruce is disciplined, structured and loves a number! “Let’s measure it and beat it” could be his motto. Therefore it was easy to prepare and execute the plan and measure (every aspect of) progress as there was never any doubt Bruce was going to do it anyway.
We put Bruce through a full TT fit and it took him sometime to reconcile his 195mm drop to the pads with his “comfort” on the saddle. We fitted him exactly to UCI regs to our PARLEE TT that had been used by Nick Mitchell before he err …had to leave the country…. Bruce then went to work on familiarising himself with position, power, efforts, obscure internet sites etc. etc. discussing the minutae of the TT with the goal of having a bit of fun (Bruce talk for trying to win).
Along the way we played with a few variables (some intentionally and some not) and got more avenues to pursue than answers in some cases. We added a helmet and found out its contribution to the numbers and how silly it looks when not on the bike.
So on Sunday at 8.47 the flag dropped and the b—s— stopped. Just under 37 minutes later it was done! Bruce had finished 13th out of 58 starters and won the 51-60 age group by just over 3 minutes at an average of 38.9kph.
Bruce’s immediate reactions were “it was over very quickly” and “I pushed myself (heartrate) harder than I can ever remember and maintained it – I am surprised”… “what a great event!” “Did I beat the guys in the team?”
Bruce returned the bike today. We discussed the fact that despite his amazement around his heart rate, he must have been asleep at the start as he not only negative split each lap but got faster every lap! It took two minutes to turn this into the next steps plan. He was and is concerned that he has misplaced some power, we have some scope to refine the position, his youngest son will be handed responsibility for monitoring dad’s frontal area (diet) and we will explore some potentially “faster” bits and pieces which will certainly include “noisier” wheels. The fun has just begun!
Finally, while everyone sucking in that cold morning air deserves acknowledgement, I must congratulate Shane Miller for his performance in posting the fastest average (42.5kph) it was just great to watch and the result was never in doubt to those watching.
Grant Rice had it right though, the real potential is with teams.What a spectacle it will be to see more of those stylish shop/group kits riding as teams rather than cliques! There were even “best presented” awards.
So get a team together and start practicing – you will need to!
Now to form a couple of Cycling Edge teams… volunteers required for a “road bike” team just to show what can be done with minor changes and for the TT team? – tough choices for later in the year …. Bridie, Mitch, Brendan Sexton, Crowie, Jarrod Owen….what are you up to Drew? – sorry Jono you’re out!