Bet you didn't see this one coming. I decided to recover from Pat's Peak by going up to the Working Man's Stage Race on Tuesday to race the Cat 5. Yes, I seriously went from a Pro/1 MTB race to a Cat 5 TT, and what's worse, I didn't do that well.
I am getting used to being solobreak's road racing experiment, so I didn't protest too much when he was like "we'll get you a TT bike for Tuesday," despite the fact that riding a TT bike in a Cat 5 race seemed like sandbagging. I showed up and there it is, complete with a Zipp Disc, Cosmic Carbone, and intimidating saddle-to-bar drop. Then they gave me a TT helmet. Yikes. I felt really bad about racing with this much fancy shit in a Cat 5 race... right up until I noticed the guy starting two spots in front of me was on a Cervelo P3 with helmet and disc. Oh. Okay. I guess this is how it is on the road.
So as you might imagine, getting a loaner TT bike 30 minutes before the start is "challenging" to adapt to, at least for a mountain biker like myself. I slammed the seat forward, raised it a bit, and tried getting on the aero bars.
OH GOD, THE REACH. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.
It was at this point that the "TT position" coaching started. Ryan, Dylan, Cathy and Mike, they all took turns explaining to be exactly where the nose of the saddle should be for the TT position to work.
This conversation was about as disturbing to me as the "where babies come from" chat would be to the average five year old. I honestly thought they were messing with me for the first five minutes. But they weren't. Somehow road cyclists are able TT with just their tailbone on the saddle. Wanna check what's under your tailbone, and where the nose of the saddle needs to go? Head to the bathroom. I'll wait.
What's worse is that this evil TT bike had an old, hard, saddle on it (Selle Italia Flite?) with a hard and wide nose. I would like to see them try it on this saddle. Holy crap. I tried later on my cross saddle on the cooldown and it seemed almost doable. Almost. But anyway, try as they might I remained unconvinced.
Unfortunately my fear of crotch pain meant I would be enduring a bonus helping of hamstring pain, since I wasn't getting over the pedals like you're supposed to. Ryan took this picture of me, which looks fast, which is more due to his "mad camera skillz" than me actually going fast.
I guess it could be charitably compared to Graeme Obree, but the difference is that my hip angle is horribly closed, which is to say my back and chest and getting crammed into my knees and I can't breathe. Awesome. But at least I'm aero.
So anyway, there was an actual race at some point, and the "nice" thing about the awkward position was that I couldn't tell that my legs were still dead from Pat's Peak. Nope, they were dead from trying to pedal while in the fetal position. Anyway, the TT hurt really bad, as you might expect, and I came out averaging around 24 mph, not exactly a rocketship, but a bit faster than I can ever do cannibal. So all the TT junk helped, plus it was a lot more "interesting" than just hitting it with clip-ons on the cross bike. Thanks, solo.
The WMSR continues with the road race tonight, so I've got to get to bed now so I can get up to be at work stupid-early. It might be called the "Working Man's Stage Race," but it still requires leaving work in Boston at 4pm. Dunno about you, but I have to jump through some hoops to pull that off. But it's all part of the experience.
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