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.


pvb said…
My guess is that the MAX WATTS for the night were probably laid down during your interval from the CBTT back to your house or from that parking lot to the start line.
solobreak said…
Good luck tomorrow, or today, what ever you want to call it. 2:21 am and I did not just get up, in fact I just got here and I'm eating fudgsicles before bed. But 300 watts for a guy your size, the 4.5 thing seems exceptional so I don't think you're just not aero, you must have your tires stuffed with leaves instead of tubes and Fast Tack in your non-ceramic welfare bearings. Probably BP crude skimmed off the surface of the gulf, complete with shark eggs on your chain.
G-ride said…
auburn we want to hear about auburn already!

and tell k-sweet to post his garmin from the kingdom, inquiring minds want to know.
Chris Mayhew said…
Yeah, that's pretty high. In order you're looking at body position, clothing, wheels, tires/tubes.

I'd be happy to look at the file and see if anything stands out like poor pacing.
trackrich said…
It's always amusing to me how much the W/kg thing matters... I do 300W blocks as a workout and the longest stretch of WATTS I remember was 291 for an hour... and we all know I am NOT faster than you. I hope to make it over to the CBTT soon to find out how much not faster.
Blue Steel said…
I was down to 360w that night and posted a 22:28. You need to stay low bro! You also kicked my ass at Pinnacle, so you'll need to school me on going fast off-road some time.

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