Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Yeah, TTT. On the road. I'm not a "road rider" per se, and have never raced on the road. I think this was pretty evident when I was pinning my number on (right Jamie?).
As a mountain biker, aerodynamics are not in the forefront of my mind. With the TTT crews, every possible form of wind drag is critiqued and reduced. Me? I'm big, hairy, and decidedly un-aerodynamic. Be that as it may, I don't think my Wookie legs were the limiting factor in my performance.
Anyway, the time trials are often called "the race of truth," because it's just you against the clock. While I can usually hold my own on a mountain bike course, I think lots of that has to do with biking skills which often compensate for my lack of fitness. Unfortunately, being able to navigate roots and rocks wasn't going to help me this time around...
As Glen said, our group took off with me in the lead, and I probably pulled too long and with too much effort. I was thinking--about 1 minute into the race--that I probably couldn't hold this effort for the whole course, but I was hoping that I'd be able to recover when I was in the draft.
I must have wheezed, "I'm off the back!" a dozen times, while I'd look up cross-eyed from my aero bars to see Jamie and Glen sitting up, coasting.
Jamie and Glen did their best to motivate me, but while the mind was willing, the body was spent, cracked, and clearly rebelling.
I really wanted to give up, give in, and tell them to "go on without me." I figured I could fake a flat tire, right? Instead, I kept pushing. I had no recognizable cycling form left, I was simply a big, sweaty, panting mess trying to turn pedals as best as I could. It was 100% effort on my part, and not even enough to break a sweat for Jamie and Glen. Bastards!
Overall, my impression was that while I was defeated, I am also intensely interested in going back to prove myself. I've got to work on my engine, and perhaps my bike (yeah, I HAVE been looking at TT bikes online...), but the BIG changes that need to be made will have NOTHING to do with my "leg-fro."
Sorry Jamie, keep your razors away! Unless you can find some real data to dispute below:
A leg that's free from hair moves swiftly through the air
Non-cyclists simply don't understand why many male bikers shave their legs. The most used excuse is the aerodynamic benefit of baldness. Oops! While leg shaving makes your muscles look nicer and road rash easier to clean, no academic study shows any kind of significant advantage in terms of speed.
Until next time, bring on the cyclocross pain!