Charlie Baker TT Race Report

Once I year I like to do a weeknight TT, just to remind myself that I do suck at certain aspects of competitive cycling. Last year I did the Dover TT and promptly blew my knee up while getting beat by a 15-year old. This year I decided my annual appearance would be at Charlie Baker, so even more people could see my pitiful result.

The real motivator behind this all was finally getting my Powertap warrantied (due my own laziness, not Saris). I wanted to PUT OUT WATTS so I would know just how far over my head power-wise against the legitimately strong dudes in mountain biking and 'cross.

Of course my plan to bust out of work with all of 10 minutes to spare to make it to Concord by 6 fell apart, when I jumped on the bike and discovered that my new Powertap head unit couldn't find my wheel. Turns out that when a Powertap and wheel first get together, they need to do a complex mating ritual, and only once this has been done can you just use the "Find" setting to pick it up. I rode for a few minutes while struggling with the notion of doing this TT without power data... and I cracked. I turned around, sprinted home, hit up THE INTERNET to solve my problems, and at 5:27 I had a powertap and wheel that were best friends.

But now there was no way I was making it to Concord in time. I rolled out again, rode 2 blocks, remembered that I OWN A FREAKING CAR, turned around again, jumped in the car and flew out to Concord. I got stuck in traffic just before the rotary, pulled into a random parking lot, whipped the bike out, and made it to the start at 5:59. Ta-da!

The TT itself went without incident. I was going for max wattage instead of speed (I already know I'm gonna end up at 23.5 mph...don't need to pay $10 for that!) so I wasn't worrying about staying especially low, and I was blantantly pedaling harder than usual down the hills. This might be why my 30-second man roasted me at 30+ mph on his TT rig after only 5 minutes of riding.

That was the extent of the excitement for my day. It took me a long time to get my HR up to 182, so I can claim I was fatigued, which is always a good excuse. Once at 182, I just let the little yellow buddy tell me what to do -- since I was shooting for high watts over high speed, I didn't even have to worry about nuances like "go harder on the climbs." Bo-ring. Why am I even writing about this?

So anyway, I came through in 25:11 at 23.2 mph, which is apparently terrible, if my inbox is to be believed. I ended up one measly watt short of my goal, 299W avg for the whole thing, 4.53 w/kg. Is that good? It would be better if I was lighter. OMG I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT!

Word on the street is that putting out 300 watts to go 23.2 miles an hour on your bike is not normal. I am a parachute with legs, it seems. While I'd like to write that off since "I only care about mountain biking," I have been known to do the occasional road race (like, say, tomorrow) and I'm not thrilled to be epically non-aero on my bike.

Was this whole blog post a public excuse for why I am closer to the bottom than the top of the CBTT results? Probably.
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