I skipped the Synergy TT yesterday but did the Charity TT on Black Dog Road this afternoon. I think I did pretty well, running the 7 mile pothole rally in 15:34, which was good enough for a tie for 5th place. Trouble is, the judges had me down for 19:04 (good for 19th place) because they say I missed my start time. I say I didn't, and have the proof.
Nobody likes a whiner, so I'll take my lumps, even though I could have used the points for the Rider of the Year competition. Is it just me, or does it seem ironic that every one of the 4 road races so far this year have run a half hour late (and with 9am starts, that means 30 minutes spent shivering in 40 degree weather). Now, with the first nice day for a race (and a 12:15 start), they decide to start 5 minutes early.
Start times for TTs aren't that hard: today's race had the first rider go off at 12:15:00, the second one at 12:15:30, and so on every 30 seconds. I was given number 34, which means I was to start 34 riders, or 17 minutes, after the first rider. My math puts that at 12:32:00. I showed up at the start line at 12:30:00 by my watch (correct time, BTW), and even asked one of the judges what time it was. He agreed it was 12:30.
Trouble was, they were sending rider #41 off at that point, so I had "missed" my start time by 3.5 minutes already! Then they were going to hold me up for even longer since they had just sent a rider off, but I took off like my hair was on fire and almost blew up in the first mile before I dialed back a notch and grimly rode on for personal satisfaction.
I haven't ridden a TT on the Dog in 4 years, and I can safely say the road conditions have definitely deteriorated. I spent the entire 15 minutes hanging on to my aero bars for dear life over "repaired" potholes and frost heaves so numerous I couldn't tell what was original and what was repair. If they had thrown a little more tar out of the truck, they would have repaved it.
OK, enough grousing. I was pleasantly surprised by my time (and my would-be place). I've never been good at TTs, and I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated by them, but after Jacobs and I won the Henderson two-man last fall, I've been more motivated to work at it. At least in this shorter distance, it looks like it has paid off.
We'll see next Friday in Duluth where I have a 16 mile TT to kick off a 4-day, 4-race Memorial Day weekend.
Just for fun, here's an update on the Highway 23 bridge just upriver from us: