Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kansas City Corporate Challenge Bike Race

I had originally eyed signing up for the Corporate Challenge Bike Race but the way I read the schedule it appeared that I had a conflict for an event I had on Thursday.  As the coordinator was needing participants for my age group, I was asked to participate and then found I would ride Wednesday.  Sweet!

No clue what to expect for this race since it was the first time I had ever participated in an event that only included the bike component. Not to mention the fact that I had never used my bike in a race situation!  I did two mock time trials over the last month at the downtown airport.  My first ride I had to contend with a 13 - 15 mph and the second had to deal with a 20 - 25 mph wind.  As it turned out, both days I averaged roughly the same speed during it.. about 23.5 mph.

So I guess my goal was faster than 23.5 mph.  I'd love to see something over 25 mph but conditions would have to be perfect.


Probably not the best idea, but we were running behind so we picked up Sonic on the way there.  I got a grilled chicken sandwich and ate half my fries.  It was still 1.5 hours before the race, so I wasn't worried.  Boy was that a mistake, as I'll point out below.

Pumped up to a high 180 psi!!
We arrived at the Kansas Speedway about 5:20 and after prepping the bike, we headed over to sign-in.  My parents came down to watch as well so all took off for the sign-in booth. I got number 293.   That's important because it is the order in which you start.  I was supposed to start at 6:15, so I then took off for a warm up bike.  I had planned to make it back to the start about 6:05.

The 'Rents and Me
I did 3 or 4 laps around the parking area where other folks were warming up.  Had I given myself more time I might have ventured out to the outer road.

There was a huge group of cyclists waiting to get started.  From where I was positioned, I couldn't tell what the plan was.  Soon Eric (who was participating in his first triathlon at KC Tri when it had was cancelled...) stopped by and was hanging over with TKB and my parents.  So I walked over there.  I was actually feeling oddly light headed, so it was good to go over and get a drink of Gatorade and sit down.

The Felt B12 and the Giro Air Attack head protector.  The new helmet worked nicely.

Eric made the good point that there were still plenty of females in the big group of cyclists, so until they thinned out there was no point of going over there.  The females were starting before the males.

As the ladies thinned out, we went over.  They were calling groups of riders over to the start line in sets of 10s based on the bib numbers.  Eric was in the 260s, so he left quite a bit before me.  By the time I made it over to the start line, it was about 6:35pm.

So there was no elevated platform to start like "The Tour" but you did have someone steady your bike so you could get fully clipped in and after calling:

"Timers Ready"

"Cyclist Ready"




(To best honest, it would feel much more authentic had it been "Trois", "Duex", "Un"!!)

So I did a little research before hand on Time Trial tips.  One said to have your front leg in the 10 o'clock position.  I guess that's because you would get a push to move you over the top and get you ready to stomp on the pedal.  A coworker recommend getting close to your high gear.  I didn't quite do that but had there been a ramp, that might make sense.

A little awkward fully clipping in while standing still.  Luckily for the guy in white, I held in my fart because I needed it around turn 3.
Off I went.  I got out of the saddle initially and then moved into my aero position once I got up over 20 mph.  The wind hit right away but it wasn't as bad as I expected.  I think the bank of the speedway helped block the wind, which was blowing in from the southwest.  It was still bad though.  I was also turning out of the headwind so it would soon be at my back.

With the individual time trial start, I immediately had someone to chase down.  I caught the guy who took off in front of me in about half a mile.  I also passed a few more people who were probably on their second lap.

My first mile clicked off in 2:29 (24.2 mph)

Second mile started at the north most point of the speedway.  It was also at this point that the headwind picked back up.  ugh.  I saw my speed drop under 20 mph a couple times but I just pushed and tried to keep the cadence up.

The only time I did get passed was at this point by a guy who had just started as we were on the south side of the loop.

2nd Mile: 2:44 (22.0 mph)

Photo from Mingle Kansas City Photographers

The third mile was me just trying to continue pushing as hard as I could.  To finish I crossed into the pit road where on the first lap I simply stayed on the track.

3rd Mile: 2:04 (27.1 mph)*

The third mile was mostly with the wind not-in-yo-face so it was easily the fastest.  I did have the headwind on the pit road but obviously just pushed as hard as I could so it was as much of a non-factor as possible.

* - I stopped my Garmin about 8 - 10 seconds after I finished, so the time for this mile was actually less and average speed was higher.


Notice everything in the view is clear... except me.  Just. Too. Fast. Right?

Official Time: 7:13.19 (24.9 mph)
Age Group: 14 of 67
Division Place: 6th (earned a couple extra points for the team!)

The event was organized quite well and how often do you get a chance to actually race on the Speedway.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take it all in as I was deep in the aero position and narrowly focused on staying on the white line and not getting blown over by the wind.

The Proof

Another a-dork-able photo
Eric and I about to head over to the start.  I felt somewhat bad not wearing my DST bike jersey but it isn't skin tight, so didn't need any more "sail" material in that wind.  I wore my Corporate Challenge T-shirt the rest of the time.

PS-  My decision to have Sonic before the race really didn't impact me.  I'm just being a punk to make you read through my blog post.  Funny, right?  Right? Please come back!

1 comment:

  1. Nice write up.

    This was a lot of fun.

    It sure was odd clipping my shoes in while standing still.