Monday, August 17, 2009

Clarks TT: New PR

Daren invited me to join him for some threshold intervals he planned to do up Clarks this evening. I, on the other hand, was going to hit the climb at full gas. Also, while he continued to climb up the doubletrack towards Jacobs Ladder after finishing Clarks (to get in a full 15 minute effort), I rode circles at the top of Clarks trying not to lose what remained of my lunch.

I've been wanting to do another time trial for a while now, especially since it's been more than 3 months since my first (and only) attempt of the season way back on May 6th. That initial attempt also marked my first real ride in 2009 on the single speed and proved to be quite painful. However, I've done a fair amount of riding since then and was confident that I could beat my previous time of 14:04. The question I had to answer was how much quicker could I go now?

Well, this evening's two efforts hurt just as bad (if not worse) then those first attempts, but I'm happy to report that my suffering resulted in a much improved time. I completed the first attempt in 11:56 and the second in 12:19. For the first, I waited about 20 seconds after Daren started and never saw him the entire climb. I did, however, pass 6 riders and 2 hikers on my way up. At the time I thought dealing with all of the traffic would negatively impact my time, but looking back I think it actually worked to my advantage. Being forced to slow and wait for an opportunity to pass prevented me from going out too hard, allowing me to really punch it up the steeper sections over the latter part of the climb without blowing up.

For the second attempt I waited just a few seconds after Daren started to try and use him as a rabbit to chase. I managed to keep him in sight on the lower slopes and actually reduced the gap up the steep section leading up to the big left hand turn at the top of the gully. Unfortunately, at that point my legs were cooked and I started to fade fast until I completely exploded at the upper gate. Looking back I definitely went out too hard (that's what I get for trying to keep up with Daren) which hurt me when I got to the steeper part of the climb.

I'm excited to see how fast Daren can go at full intensity. My money's on a sub-11, especially if he throws down on his cross bike! Speaking of which, he's pretty excited to race cross this fall. In fact, listening to him talk about the different courses tonight actually made me think about giving it a go. I'd need to get a smaller rear cog (currently I'm running a 20 but for cx I'd probably want a 16, 17 or 18), but think I could probably get by on my single speed 29er. If the weather's good (and by good I mean no rain, snow and mud!) I may try a race or two.

I should also note that I couldn't have set a new PR without CarboRocket in my bottle (I don't think anything else would have stayed in my stomach after finishing the tt!) and Fly socks on my feet. Seriously, those two simple products give you wings. I'm pretty sure if I'd worn either my Masher or 29 & Single jersey I'd have gone even faster! As crazy as it sounds I think looking fast actually makes you ride fast(er).


F.W. Adams said...

Hey to a fellow UT SSer and congrats on your TT efforts! I get a little queasy just thinking about it!

As to trying a cross race w/o rain, snow or mud, I think it's exactly those elements that make it a cross race! ;o)

Peace and happy trails!

Blackdog said...

Awesome time. I can only dream of going up Clarks that fast. Still trying to break 20 min. I think I can do it now. I will have to give another shot.

Ski Bike Junkie said...

If you can't be fast, you should at least look good. Sounds like you did both.

Rick Sunderlage said...

Nice work!

KanyonKris said...

That's a good time and a lot of improvement.

And nice shameless plugging.

Anonymous said...

no mention of your brush with celebrity on the drive home???

or your inability to postpone pie for two hours so you can watch the prologue tonight?


UtRider said...

Jared - If you were familiar with Rachel's pie it would be clear why I'm choosing the all-you-can-eat pie party over the TOU prologue. It's a no brainer decision.

You really need to lube your chain. The memory of that awful squeak kept me up half the night! :)

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. You want to try a cross race on a MOUNTAIN BIKE, if there is SUNSHINE AND 70 DEGREE WEATHER. Why dont you just call up and see if they will extend Icup a few more races.
ps. Its good to see you have an open mind about cross and are willing to give it a fair shake (as long as its nothing like cross) Im certain it will be everything you want it to be. but
just to be safe call up ohran and ask him if you can ride around the barriors cause you dont want to have to get off your bike.

UtRider said...

Pat - Yeah baby! Seriously though, I've heard that lots of guys race mtn bikes (and a 29er ss isn't that different from a cx ss is it? especially if I run narrow tires?) in the C flight. Also, given my lack of embrocation skills I think picking a relatively warm day for my first race isn't a bad idea. As much fun as shivering in the car for 10 minutes after a race with the heater on full blast sounds (a fond memory that Daren shared with me on our ride Monday), I'll leave the epic conditions for the epic racers!

As far as the barriers go, I was thinking of stacking branches in front of and behind them to better simulate a mountain bike ride. That way I can just roll up and over!