Drama - Drama - DRAMA! What an eventful night, and those of you that stayed put on the couch missed out. Technical problems arose galore for two of our record attempt riders which required restarts for both of them. But once on the course, they were on their own. No going back after they left for good.
The adventure first started with our mixed tandem duo of Reid Morris and Emily VanHeukelom, the current Male/Female Road Tandem record holders. It was about 6:12 on the clock when Reid arrives with tandem in hand, but no stoker. "She's getting out of work late, and caught in traffic," Reid says. With a late start time already assigned for their record attempt, everyone crossed their fingers. As riders are leaving the start line, Reid zooms past, sans stoker, back to the parking lot. They both arrive in a frenzied state, but past the assigned start time by 30 seconds. With all the rest of the riders already gone, and I being in a accommodating state of mind, allowed them the 1 minute delay to reset their start time and send them off. As they left they were still attempting to get into sync, and I think Emily had zippo time to warm up. I told Randy Higgins and Gary Newell that I doubted they would beat their own record time of 33:48 set last year with all the shenanigans. I was wrong! A new record was set last night in that class of 33:31, besting their previous mark by a mere 17 seconds. Lesson: Adrenalin can overcome unplanned events when the fight is on. Kudos to both for pulling it off.
Matthew Chaffee also arrived to best his own Hand Cycle record, but he was not as lucky. He got down the course about two miles, then had technical problems with a leg strap. We were walking back when he returned asking for a restart. I was still glowing in an accommodating state of mind, and granted his request. Randy worked the leg strap as best as he could, and with a 10 minute delay in the start time, Matthew left. I didn't want him delaying much longer, as it was getting slightly darker, and with no light or flag on that hand cycle, he was difficult to see. (Riders, at least consider always having a blinking red rear light nowadays --- ). Alas, he still had problems down the road and did not beat his own record time. However, I told him that we still had next week, August 26th, for record attempts, and he could try again. (The points contest is now over, but we'll still take record attempts).
Our third record attempt, Chris Ostberg in the Merckx class, came just before registration closed from metro Detroit, but the stars were aligned and he was on schedule. Chris successfully beat Scott Gustafson's time by a mere 3 seconds! For all you wanna-be good time trialists, Chris's comments after the ride are telling (I paraphrase slightly - ) "I knew the record was 35:48, and after checking about equipment and clothing requirements for the class, I was confident I could likely beat that record. I now know the course well enough that the outbound part is relatively easier than the inbound part, especially right at the finish. I wanted to save something for that slight headwind / uphill finish. So I kept some power in reserve on the way out, then carefully ramped up my effort on the way in. In the last mile I knew it was going to be close. But as the clock was ticking down, I had left just enough in the tank to not fade at the end. Just enough to nip the record. Whew!"
And yes, the points contest is over. Below you'll see the results and the end of season payouts. We'll be awarding those at our end of season celebration or mailing the proceeds if you don't show. The Women's class ended just as I predicted with Jill Martinek in 1st, Tarra Daprato in 2nd, and Heather Wiersma in 3rd. The Men's class ended as it has been for several weeks now with Ed Gilde in 1st, Shane Wiersma in 2nd, and Brad Leedy in 3rd. Jeff Petersen had an outside chance at 3rd place, but he needed Brad not to show, or have some unplanned event during the ride. You should have heard the trash talking before the ride. I asked Jeff that if he saw Brad had a mechanical problem ahead of him on the road, would he stop and help him? Jeff's reply: "Tough luck - see you later dude....." With friends like that, you don't need enemies. And the Merckx class's winner exemplifies the "slow and steady wins the race" philosophy as Jack Wright takes 1st, Brent Gaines is 2nd, and your's truly did take 3rd after all. When Aaron Brunscheen came to ride, I knew there was an outside chance he'd take 3rd place from me, but there were not enough riders slower than himself to do it. I want to thank John Crankshaw, Cal Hekman, and Bob Ayars for not showing up last night to ride the Merckx class. I'll buy all of you a beer next week.
Speaking of next week, it looks like the Gravel Bottom Brewery will be able to host us next week at their brand new location in downtown Ada! They'll open their doors just for us and let the taps flow. The patio is waiting. I'll get some pizza from Vitale's, which will include some veggie and gluten free choices. I'll have non-alcoholic beverages too. All of this is FREE to any volunteers, RW officers, and time trial riders at any time of the season. Festivities should start about 7:15 and conclude about 9:30. Awards and fun - hopefully without the DRAMA!
Time Trials Coordinator
Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club
We're getting some good end of season action, and some weather, out in Ada as we begin to wrap up out time trial season. Ahh- seems just like yesterday Spring was in the air. But here we are almost over. The amazing fact is that we have not had ONE time trial this year canceled by bad weather. (Hope I didn't jinx anything - yikes!)
The usual suspects came to compete. One event of note was the Haw family reunion. With both Marcus and his wife Helle doing a 2 person ride, they came especially out because both sons were in town, and Marcus told me it had to be a family affair that they did not want to miss. Recent memory will serve that younger son Jason held the course Junior Men's record for some time until Nick McKey stole it from him recently. Good to have him back, as he took top honor in the Merckx class. His older brother, Sebastian, has been riding a fair amount in Italy, of all places, and took medalist honors in the Men's class. The parents and boys especially enjoyed having the offspring pass the oldsters out on the course. Now that's what I call a family reunion.
The points contest is heating up in the Women's class, just like I predicted it might. Tarra DaPrato did well enough to bite into Jill Martinek's lead, but is still 2 points shy of a tie. If they both came out next week, it would be a close contest to the wire. Alas though, it will not be as Tarra said she'll be not able to make it next week, which gives Jill a likely commanding lead for 1st place and the $300 cash first prize. However, Heather Wiersma has an outside chance then in taking 2nd place, but she'll need 5 points to take 2nd place outright. A tall order, but possible, depending upon how many other women riders show the final week for the points contest next week.
The Men's point contest is as predictable as I thought, with the order of Ed Gilde holding 1st, Shane Wiersma holding 2nd, and Brad Leedy in 3rd. All with about 6 point leads on each other. Since its also the usual finishing order for those three, not much is likely to change if they all show up. Someone would have to have a mishap of some sorts. (Hope I didn't jinx anything - yikes! - Again!) In the case of the aforementioned mishap, actually Jeff Petersen has an outside chance of taking a top 3 spot. That's action worth watching!
And I have VERY exciting news about the Merckx class. Yours truly actually obtained enough points to take 3rd place! But I have the same problem that Tarra DaPrato has in that I cannot ride next week because of my time trial duties. So I'm at the mercy of the riders just behind me showing up or not. Jack Wright, Mr. Consistent, is doing what he needs to stay in 1st, and I think Brent Gaines will still keep 2nd, even with an absence.
Remember that next week, August 19th, is the last night for the points contest. On our last night, August 26th, riders may still make record attempts if they like.
The other news is that we WILL be having a post season "party" on August 26th right after the time trials are over. Any time trial rider or volunteer is welcome to attend, and the cost for food and beverages is nothing. Yes - FREE! You will not want to miss the final hoo-ha celebration as we award various prizes and kick another season into the sunset. I'll have more details as soon as I make the final arrangements.
Time Trials Coordinator
Here are the results from Monday's Time Trials. Let us know if there are any discrepancies. The points contest will be updated later.
Although we had ominous clouds and a few showers prior to the start of TT tonight, we had 22 riders show up to enjoy what turned out to be splendid racing conditions.
Thanks to all who came out to race tonight. As always, Dave will update the points competition when he returns (hopefully, next week?)
See you all then.
Here are Monday's results for the Time Trial - sorry for the delay. It's summer...vacation time :-)
In case you missed the spectacular weather conditions last night, below are the results of the time trials. No juniors this week! They must be out wave boarding at the beach, as near as I can figure. Only two women, but Kim Westdorp took the honors, even after arriving at the line at the last minute. What timing! In the spirit of "arrive just barely in time" decorum, Cal Hekman made his return to competitive cycling, and actually beat his predicted time by 3 minutes! That's what a near-rolling start can do for you. However, we recommend that you arrive about 3 minutes before your time, so you don't set the crew into a panic looking for you at the last minute via Amber Alerts, texts, state-wide-APBs, National Emergency Defense Network radio tones, etc.
One person who always has the knowledge, habits, and ability is Tom Burke. Arrives early, works on his bike, stretches, warms up, notes wind direction and temperature, rides a relatively high cadence of 100 rpm, aerodynamically tucked, motions only from the hip down, watches his power meter, sets goals, meters his effort, finishes strong, then a cool down ride. Even if you adopted just some of these habits, you'll be a better rider. A couple of weeks ago John Crankshaw asked me why I believed warmer weather produced faster times. I replied what almost all private pilots know well, that warmer air is less dense and easier to traverse. But as I was discussing with Tom last night, there's a limit to higher temperatures on the body, where it can become too hot to perform well physiologically. The sweet spot? Tom states about 80 degrees (he's studied it). Tom also added that altitude is the same principle. Higher altitudes have thinner air, easier to go faster, but again there's a limit. Too high an altitude and you'll suffer oxygen deprivation, decreasing performance. The sweet spot? About 5,000 - 6,000 feet. So 80 degrees at 5,000 feet. What a combo. Think about Eddy Merckx's 1972 Hour Record in Mexico City at 7,500 feet. Think Francesco Moser in 1984 at the same venue. Think about the Olympic Velodrome in Colorado Springs at 6,000 feet. Go to either of those places for your PR attempts.
Speaking of Tom Burke, he bested his next closest competitor by about 7 minutes. He went off last, and just as we predicted, he came in first. Quite an accomplishment when you can lap the whole field.
The points contest is getting very interesting. We're seeing steadier, usually slower, riders rising to the top, as the real speedsters continue their beach vacations. Only 6 more week to go, and it will be all over. Who will win the $$$$$$$$$?
I would be remiss if I did not mention that next week, July 22, is ADOPT A ROAD CLEANUP. Please plan an staying and help us beautify Grand River Avenue. Treats afterwards!
Time Trials Coordinator
Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club
Howdy Time Trialists,
Here are your results. Have a great week.
The results will have to speak for themselves today! :-)
Summer is here, and things are getting busy!
It was quite a rainy afternoon which probably discouraged many racers from coming to the Time Trials. There were 7 competitors today. We saw John Crankshaw warming up in the rain; there may have been others but we didn’t see them. The rain pretty much stopped by the time we started our riders. The clouds blew east away from us, and some sun came out.
Thanks to the volunteers for coming out in this weather.
This Monday, two new records were established:
Merckx - Scott Gustafson 35:48 (Previously held by Chris Ostberg at 36:54 set in May this year)
Male Single Speed - Reid Morris 34:45 (Previously held by Dave Durkee at 44:46 in 2015) Finally, an unworthy time usurped by a worthy one. Long live the King!
I have a house full of guests this week and still working full time, but I'll update the points contest when I have time. The Men's contest will be interesting as I see Ed Gilde is taking the 2 placements ahead of Brad Leedy he needs to catch Brad and possibly take first place. To quote Star Wars "Everything is proceeding as I had forseen". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAf0QnLFS7Q