the Cronometro TT Recap

At some point during making my spring 2010 event calendar, I came across an event called the Cronometro Time Trial. Not really sure why, but it intrigued me and last week I decided to sign up after some prodding from my friends Mike & Todd. I will say that part of it came down to a free ‘Ghost Burger’ and t-shirt for being one of the first 100 to sign up. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a sucker for free stuff… especially food! The route itself seemed simple enough, a 12 mile rectangle loop with one ‘biting’ hill as the description put it. It looked like a great event for my first race and Time Trial. The start and finish were outside of Manor TX, in the J. Lorraine Ghost Town. Seems like a cool place, so I got the wife and kids to join me out in the gorgeous Austin spring sun. I also coaxed another couple of Team Austin Cycle Camp riders to enter as well. If you’re going to have pain & embarrassment, it may as well be with friends! Training leading up to the race wasn’t what I would have preferred, but most of the week saw me in Louisville Kentucky for a trade show. So I had to settle with one solid ride early in the week. I was probably most excited about the TT race because there was a division for road bikes only, meaning I wouldn’t have to contend with the serious racers. It also meant that I got a little later start which I wouldn’t argue with since I got in from the airport at 9:30 the night before. We got to the start with plenty of time to go out and warm up. Alexis, Zach and I rode about 5 miles or so getting the blood flowing. I headed back to the start house since they were going alphabetically and I was the second rider out of the gate. The release was 30 seconds between riders. So as soon as the first guy was out I was up on the platform, clipped in, guy holding my bike, and 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go! Wow, before I was down the ramp my heart rate was already close to 150! Not exactly what I was looking to target at the start! Regardless it was go time, I set out at a pretty smooth pace with a nice backwind and my HRM reading 170’s. Okay, I can do this. Most of the advice given to me was to ease into the first 4-5 minutes and not burn out. I was several minutes in when the first rider behind me comes up and passes (turns out the guy came in 5th). I make the first turn and begin to prepare myself for the hill that was coming up. I hadn’t had a chance to pre-ride but was pretty sure it was just enough hill to keep you honest, but nothing compared to the standard Austin hill. As I approach the hill, another rider begins to pass. We make it up about 2/3’s of the hill, and I having no shame drop to my granny gear and pass him. As is typical when I go uphill, my HR had shot pretty high. I ease back into the pace and continue rolling. I make it to the next turn and then the fun began… straight into a headwind on the 3rd side. Fun right? No not really… especially for TT efforts! I continue to pace but push myself so that I’ll have something left for the homestretch. My buddy Zach passes me and I cheer him on as I know he’s en route for a good time. He didn’t respond, but I knew it was because he was breathing! I notice my time and realize it should be close to the final turn. I didn’t really know what to expect for effort/time, but wanted to get sub 40 minutes and maybe 20+ mph average. I make it down the final hill and just as I’m begging the climb I notice a blue & green jersey next to me. It’s my teammate Alexis. The only thing this means is that I may pass out when we cross the finish line. She simply says ‘let’s do it’ and we put the hammer down. I remember glancing at my HRM once and noticing it was over 190. Would I make it? Not sure, but I would die trying. I cross the finish and notice my time showed around 37 minutes. Cool I did it. My wife and kids were right at the finish cheering me on. I circle around a few times letting my heart and breathing settle back down. I applaud the efforts of Alexis and Zach because I knew they both would have posted good times. We head back over to the ghost town and wait for the results to post. My final time came in at 37:09. That put my average speed at 19.49 mph, my average HR at 175, and max HR at 196. Not too shabby for my first racing efforts. I debated on whether or not to post my final standings because it’s pretty unimpressive. Until I thought about it… I was out there, I finished, and I left it all on the pavement. So yes I finished 29 out of 30 racers in the road bike division. But I did it. And it was a rush, and lots of fun. We finish up the morning with prize giveaways, a band, and some pretty good ‘ghost burgers.’ Not a bad way to start your Saturday. Till Next time…

  1. Congrats on a great first race. Awesome report too.

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