Time Trials and Tribulations

Poor Andy. This was the second year in a row he’s lost the Tour de France because he can’t time trial worth a damn – AND he had to do it in a yellow onesie.

But before we judge to harshly, it is important to remember one very important fact – time trials are really, really hard. They are the race of truth – no drafting, no tactics – just you and your  bike against the clock.

On Sunday, just one day after the epic and decisive ITT in France, Team Alter Ego packed up the team car and headed out to Birds Hill Park for Manitoba’s Provincial ITT Championship. While this race would not be nearly as epic or decisive, it would most certainly be just as hard.

During the warmup, Nathan entertained us with stories of the recent shenanigans from the frat house where he lives. It seems the latest pastime is hacking into each others’ facebook accounts and posting creative status updates. One such violation the other day had Nathan proudly proclaiming his Bieber Fever. Don’t worry Nathan, we still like you.

The time trial itself was great, or as great as it could be considering my lungs and legs were burning, I thought my heart might explode and I was on the verge of vomiting for over half an hour. I was a little disappointed with my performance, going 1.5 minutes over my goal time, but all things considered I don’t think I would have done anything different – except maybe stop on the way to the race to buy an ass-kicking  TT bike and matching space helmet.

Oh and next time I might try stopping at the actual finish line, rather than 25 meters in front of it. Thanks to the spectator for offering the kind (albeit confusing) gestures of encouragement. In spite of that little whups, I will mention that I took five full minutes off last years’ time. Mostly thanks to Coach Rick.

Speaking of Coach Rick… seeing someone walking back to the finish line with their bike in one hand and shoes in the other is generally a pretty good sign than something has gone wrong. Poor Rick suffered a flat 3.5 minutes into the race and had to walk back. That sucks. Needless to say, he was not happy about it and expressed it in much the way a sailor might. Once the blue fog had cleared he was all smiles and sunshine.

The rest of the Team did well, all of us shaving time off from last year. Phil was especially pleased, coming in under his goal time.

But going fast is hard.

By the way, this is how you are supposed to finish a time trial. If you don’t feel like shit after, you didn’t go hard enough.

It was great to see the racing folks again – FOG put on a fun and well-organized race and must have pulled some strings to get the perfect weather we had. Thanks guys!! It was particularly great to see this lady again:

After a brief cool down and doughnuts courtesy of Gary, it was decided Team Alter Ego would retire to the 59er for breakfast and a debrief of the race. I quickly retreated to my car to change into my best party dress, which – as it was pointed out – was well above the diners’ dress code. Breakfast was good. The company was better.

At the debrief it was unanimously agreed that we are all awesome.