May 17, 2010
I haven’t done a race report in a while so I decided it was time!
Jeff and I have been training a lot on our tandem again this year–no big surprise to many of you…..
I mean, we’ve got these stars-and-stripey skinsuits and if we don’t do some races in them, the per race price is going to be ridiculous for those things! We missed the Berkeley Team TT because of the stupid Dinuba Crit and all those resultant fractures in Jeff’s lumbar spine….and Dunlap dropped their tandem category.
So we’ve been doing training intervals and our local practice tt but it isn’t the same as a real race. And the 10 mile Calaveras TT just isn’t enough practice before the 40K Norcal District TT next month. So we packed up our bags and our dog and stuffed the car full and headed off to…….Southern California to their District TT. Six hours from our house…..
I won’t spend too much time telling you how much we (didn’t) like Lancaster and Lake Los Angeles. Blech. I hope I don’t move into that district. Oh, but I sorta do want to move into that district. Conundrum time.
Well, our pre-ride was no fun. We got a flat on some gravel in the 3rd turn, ruined one of our race tires, and almost went down. We learned never to set our bike by a sprinkler. We ate dinner at 10pm at the Olive Garden in Palmdale and went to bed at midnight with a 5:00 wakeup. I’m not complaining–I know it was harder for the gals at Kern. Just stating the facts!
We had some good competition. Their district champs from last year who got 4th at Nats as well as the team that got 5th at Nats were there and we were sandwiched between them with only 30 second intervals. And when I compared the size of my legs to their champ’s stoker’s legs, I was wishing for some hills….
But this course is a nearly flat rectangle that you do 5 legs of (so you do the 1st leg twice) and the (supposed) cool thing about this course is that it can be kinda windy and the leg you do twice is the tailwind leg so you get way more tailwind than headwind so the times are fast for 23.5 miles…..
As usual, we looked pretty damn good with our color coordinated shoe covers that I made. No pictures though, sorry. I only saw one person with a camera and I think she was taking a picture of an giant red-ant hill.
And we started off…….into a HEADwind! It wasn’t very windy, but it was backwards so we had 2 legs of headwind. That was cruel. We caught the team ahead of us at about mile 15 but we couldn’t ever see the team behind us well and they were the faster team. Jeff thought he saw them at mile 15 about 20 sec behind us but how he could tell that is beyond me. He is amazing with that little mirror. Or he my have been hallucinating. So when we hit the last 6 mile headwind section we gave it all we had. Jeff knew they were on our tail. I didn’t, but I assumed that we were going to lose by one second so that I went as hard as I could and couldn’t say I should have gone just a little faster if they did win by one second! I’m pretty mental. Despite all of that, the race was just a bit long for us. There was a little teeny hump in the road at about mile 20 or 21 that I thought was going to stop us dead in our tracks.
I spit on Jeff during the race. I had to spit and didn’t want to really turn my head as that is so un-aero and half my job is to be aero. So I just turned a smidge and aimed to the side but my spittle was pretty viscous at that point and it went straight into his butt. He said afterwards that he thought I barfed on him!
Being out of district, we weren’t in contention for medals, but we were pretty stoked to win by 26 seconds. It’ll make this week a little easier to take as I’m pretty sure I’m going to feel bad all week.
Oh, and the socal tt crowd is way too intense. They did not properly appreciate my rabbit ears……
See you at the next one!
— Soni Andreini Poulsen