I guess we'll start with the Oak Ridge Velo TT.
I arrived a couple of hours early, hoping to get to see some old friends and have plenty of time to warmup. Of course, when I was packing my trainer in the car I wasn't smart enough to remember to pack the skewer. The View-Speed Aero skewers are great for a lot of things... but they are pretty useless for mounting your bike to the Kurt Kinetic. Fortunately Rebekah and Eric come to my rescue and let me borrow a skewer for a little bit. I miss don't get my perfect warmup in, but I felt like I covered the bases sufficiently. It was also 95° so being warm wasn't much of an issue.
Going in the plan was to average about 300 watts, give or take a little... or, considering the up/down terrain, at least have an NP around 300-310. Considering it was an 8 mile TT and given my training lately that shouldn't have been too unrealistic.
|heading for the start line|
|Seriously... I just had my oil changed.|
Looking back, perhaps it was ambitious for the day. Training through the race (with a run and hard swim Friday) combined with the absolute meltdown temperatures (10° hotter than my powertap read last year... thanks 5p.m. start time) and I was probably not hitting that goal... and I didn't. 262w avg is all I could muster. Kind of disappointing from a "numbers" standpoint, but my time was podium worthy in all of the non-pro12 divisions (and good enough for a top 10 there) so I can't be terribly upset I suppose. For the second year in a row I claimed the silver in the CAT5 division... again being narrowly beaten. I did get to wear my Greg Lemond sunglasses though... so that's a win in and of itself.
|Rebekah giving me some encouragement.|
Sunday was a birthday ride for a rider at the local shop. She wanted to do some climbing so off to Bluff Mountain we went. We certainly started off with a heck of a group (considering the usual size of our Sunday morning ride) to head out with.
After a couple of mishaps (including a saddle coming off mid-ride) and some fairly spirited miles, we close in on the looming mountain. At this point the ride split and the vast majority headed back to the house, content with a 50 miler. Of course, being the glutton for punishment that I am... I couldn't help but point my bike towards the sky.
|brave souls who love to go up. Jackie getting in the selfie!|
After what seems like forever on the lonely ride up, I make it to the fire tower. I expect I'll have a couple of minutes to wait for the rest of the group to crest, so I take the time to check my facebook (priorities) and gnaw on one of my rice cakes. Tired and entertained by technology, it's not until the baby bear is only a few feet from me, having a nice hike up the side road, that I notice him.
Our eyes meet for a split second before I launch the remainder of my rice cake at him and execute a flying mount I will likely never replicate in a race. It occurs to me only as I'm bombing downhill at a pace that would whiten the knuckles of Fabian Cancellara that I missed an excellent selfie opportunity. Bombing downhill, bear in background... would have been sweet. Unfortunately I had to settle for not meeting momma bear.
The rest of the ride is fun and uneventful, followed by some good food (and maybe a drink) at Barleys. Not a bad way to spend the weekend.
On a completely unrelated note (I know, imagine that right?) I just received my long coveted new toy in the mail.
|Bonus... it's a great weapon if it doesn't end up working on the bike|
Yes, it's a fork. But not just A fork, it is (one of) THE forks. The Argos (branded as MDT also) steel blade aero fork. Here is a link to Argos' website (it's a bit primitive, but gets the info across) if you'd like to know more. The real question is... will the thing work on my P3alu. Well, it's made for an external bearing headset... which my P3 is not... but would I let something like that stand in my way? Of course not. It helps that I am not blazing any trails here either, as you'll see here that somebody else had the same idea.
So we've successfully seen the fork installed, now my only worry is getting the brake mounted to it (as the head tube sticks out a little farther) without any issues. My guess is a couple of spacers will do the trick, but I assume nothing when it comes to messing with bikes these days.
This weekend is the second to last sprint in the Fleet Feet series. I am a point (maybe two?) down from the lead as we stand, so I need to put in a good race Saturday. It's a very real possibility that either there won't be an update next week, or there will be a shorter one Monday or Tuesday, (Probably a race report) since I'll be heading to Milwaukee on Wednesday. If anyone reading is going... hope to see you there! I'll be on the red/white Cervelo in the Cobb Mobb gear :)
Until next time, thanks so much for reading! Stay safe out there.
- Christopher Morelock