Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UCLA Team Time Trial, Chicken Style!


While John, Bob, Dan, and Matt were kickin' some butt up north. A few other Chickens headed into the beautiful desert community of Lancaster for some good old fashioned Time Trial Racing!

They had two races on Sunday as part of the UCLA road race weekend. First was the Team TT. I personally have never done one, so I was excited and nervous to see how we would do. Our four person Team consisted of Craig Zimmerman, John VanMannekes, Gabe Garcia, and me.

After standing in 40 degree weather for 30 minutes to register we were informed that our start time was 9:18am it was currently 8:50am and we were still in pajamas and all our bikes and wheels and trainers were still in the truck. We scrambled like I've never scrambled before, got dressed, pinned on numbers, pumped up tires, rode one mile to the start line and got there with 30 seconds to spare...I'm not kidding. The starter yelled go and after two hours in the car and literally no warm-up we were on the rivet within 45 seconds. I can honestly say the first 5 minutes were about as painful and uncomfortable as any I can remember. When you're doing a Team Time Trial you can't just say "well I'm gonna take it easy for the first 5k" cuz you have to stay with the other 3 guys. The no warm-up and cold start hit Gabe the hardest and he lost contact about 5 miles in to the 12 mile race. So now we were just 3 and we had to stick together because the 3rd rider across the line is the one that stops the clock so you can afford to lose 1 teammate but not 2. After getting over the initial shock of the lactic acid overload and the traces of vomit climbing up our throats we settled into a nice rhythm. After the turn-around we really hit our stride and we were flying on the way back! On one downhill section John was on the front I was 2nd wheel about 3 inches off his back tire in the aero position when I look at my speedo (that's short for speedometer Robert) and we're going 42 miles an hour! It was awesome! Then a little further down the road we caught and passed a 4 woman team from Cal Poly. Blingerman was on the front and I was 3rd wheel, as we passed them I heard the girl on the front mutter "Holy S@*t!". I'm assuming she said that because our speed was so impressive... but she might have said it because of the massive amount of drool hanging out of the corner of my mouth. Either way it gave me an adrenaline rush and we hammered all the way to the line in 28:06. Good enough for 1st place in the cat 3 division and the 2nd fastest time of the day! Only the UCLA "A" team beat us by 15 seconds. But that doesn't really count because we're all old and have kids and they were all young and have nothing to do all day besides train... and recover from drunken Frat parties...and study to be doctors and engineers and easy stuff like that.

We were pretty stoked, and as soon as it was over we wanted to do it again 'cause we know we could've gone faster. Gabe was a little bummed but we were all right on the edge those first few minutes and any one of us could've popped. Besides he would redeem himself in the days 2nd race.

The individual TT took place on the same 20k course a few hours later. This time we had plenty of time to properly prepare and our start sequence was less dramatic. We all rode well and posted strong times in Cat 3 with me in....no surprise here... 2nd place with a 29:29, John in 3rd with a 29:42, Blinger in 5th with a 30:09 and Gabe in 6th with a 30:39.

We checked the collegiate times cuz we wanted to see how the UCLA boys did as individuals. All four of them rode better than a 28:30 which shows how well we rode as a team. As individuals they were all much faster than us, but as a team they only got us by 15 seconds. And with a little practice and better preparation we can go even faster. I'm definitely excited to try a Team TT again in the near future.

The funniest part of the trip was when after the individual TT Blingerman's zipper got stuck on his skin suit. All three of us were trying to unzip the thing so we didn't have to cut it off of him. I had one hand on the collar and the other hand on the zipper pulling as hard as I could when suddenly my hand slips off the collar and I give Blinger a perfect uppercut right to the chin... He wobbled for a moment but like Muhammad Ali he refused to go down! Not only is Craig an excellent Time Trialist I think he would also make a great UFC fighter because clearly he can take a punch. Next time I'm gonna sucker punch him in the gut to see if he can handle body shots.

All in all a great day of racing. Congrats to Dan Rudd on a huge win at Pineflat. He's gonna have to give us the blow by blow. If there are any more race stories out there we'd all like to hear 'em. Win, lose, or draw... it's all good motivational material.

Great job Chickens!


1 comment:

Chester Gillmore said...

Alright guys- SANTA BARBARA # 1... Way to kick ass out there!