Sunday, June 8, 2008

Waterville Valley Time-Trial

31.5km, ~1300ft climbing
Saturday's riding was characterized more as a long hillfest with an embedded 0.8 hour interval. The day started out cool, but you could tell the air was soggy, a sign of things to come. Over 60 riders were pre-reg'd, and it looks like others signed up day of. It was very calm and comfortable warming up.

TT course profile. gives over 1400ft of climbing.

After spinning around for 7 miles, I went off at 9:52:30. I caught my 30sec man in 6 minutes. Then around 12 minutes, I passed a whole group of riders as the grade picked up a bit. I expected this. I was not using any aero equipment. Many riders were fully decked out in aero - full TT bike, skin suit, pointy helmet. Before the TT, another rider on a Ridley said "dude, lose the gloves!" I don't think he understood that I was already riding at a 100 glove aero handicap. I do have 50mm deep dish wheels, but true TT wheels are deeper with disk in rear. What surprised me is nobody passed me on the climb to the turnaround, an 800+ft net gain in about 9 miles. Speed going out reached 27mph on the flatter parts.

I probably went out just a tad bit hard, as around the 2-3 mile mark, I perceived a little deflection - a forced back-off due to lactic acid build-up. But I got into a nice rhythm after that and must have passed a dozen riders before the half-way turn around point in the village.

I fully expected riders to pass me on the decent. Two did. To my dismay, they were riders I steamrolled past heading up. One of these riders looked quite a bit less lean than myself and probably had several years on me. He had the aero goodies. All I can say is that stuff really works. Another rider (Brad Ek, NHCC) similar in fitness and leanness to myself hit speeds in excess of 40mph on the return. I never saw 38mph. Haven't seen the results, but I may have come in faster than him. This means I had to be considerably faster going out. Speeds going out averaged 20-23mph (less than 15mph on one blip) and 28-32mph on the return.

I came through the finish in 48:30 per my computer. That is good for 24.3mph. Normally this would suck, but considering there was about 1300ft of climbing on this course and I rode cannibal (no aero), I was quite pleased. I don't think I left anything on the table on this course. It was a good effort. I think the TT bug has bitten me. My Ridley could easily be adapted for TT use, but its mission in life is hilly road races. I will have to start researching my options. It would be really cool to come back here next year with all the aero goodies to see how big of a chunk I can take out of my time.

Post TT ride profile, with Gonzo, dirt Long Pond, Kinsman, and partial dirt Tripoli climbs

Time-Trial reports are boring enough, and a long ride report crosses the threshold I'm sure. Ride reports always generate email however, so somebody out there is reading this stuff.

After the TT, Ryan Larocque (Bicycle Alley), Bob Tyszko (NHCC), Dave Penney and I went for a ride. We took hilly Rt 175 to North Woodstock. At junction of Rt 118 (Gonzo Pass), Ryan and Bob decided hills weren't in their best interst that day and headed back. Dave and I pressed on. We no more than started climbing then a rollerskier came barrelling down. He was going about 20-30mph and SKATING. I did not see any speed reducers on his rollerskis. This was on the less steep part near the bottom. It gets much steeper further up. I'm pretty sure it was Justin Freeman, but it might have been his brother Kris that looks a lot like him. They are both Olympians. You can hit speeds of nearly 50mph on a bike coming down this. What if a moose steeped out? I train on rollerskis too and have done repeats up CLOSED Mt Wachusett, but even with speed reducers, I did not dare try to ski back down. We hiked back down. Hill repeats on Gonzo has to be an incredible workout though. I suppose if anybody has the skill and cajones to pull this off, Justin does.

The Pemi Valley from near summit of Gonzo Pass. You can see the opressive heat.

Gonzo sucked for Dave and I. With little air movement, it was like riding in a sauna. I hit this near threshold pace. Dave commented after the TT that he thought he pulled his a$$. I had some funky soreness back there too. Plus my left calf was in knot. When I reached the top, I had blown most of the way through a 100oz Camelbak. The ride was going to get cut short. We decided to cut out Franconia Notch. At the bottom of Gonzo on Rt 25, we made unplanned stop to top off water reserves in Warren.

Looking up at Long Pond Rd (aka North and South Rd) pass. Mt Moosilauke peak on right.

Long Pond Rd (aka North and South Rd) was nice. Shaded, firm gravel, but persistent steep grade. At best, I could hold tempo pace. Not one car passed us in the 45 minutes or so we spent on this unnamed mountain pass. The decent was the smoothest I've seen yet on this road, and I've ridden it at least 5 times now. Stretches of road like this are why I ride. Racing could vanish and little would change in how I train and ride.

This one is for Ryan. North and South Rd does exist and this is what it looks like about 0.95mi up from Rt 25.

Kinsman Notch is a killer climb from North Woodstock, as it is 12% grade and into the wind. From the west though, it's not much of a climb. It is in full sun, and the heat was taking a toll. We were pretty much relegated to soft pedalling by this point. The descent into North Woodstock is always sweet. You can gain ridiculous speeds here. I hit my all-time fastest here last year. Today I went only a little over 50mph.

North and South Rd near summit. Descent had very few embedded rocks.

We stopped in North Woodstock to fill our empty water stores again. We had no idea how we were going to climb mostly dirt Thornton Gap (aka Tripoli Rd) given how trashed we were. Dave really wanted to do it though, as he never biked it. I really wanted 100 miles for the day, so we both got a liberal dose of mental toughness training. The climb actually went pretty well for me. Again, the gravel was nice and firm 95% of the time. The grade was not as steep as I recalled from a few years ago. The decent down the paved side back to the Waterville village was ratty. There were many frost-heaved, pot-holed mine fields to pick your way through. We skirted the village and popped out on the alpine ski area service road. The ride finished along the TT course gradually down hill to Campton. The wind was now vicsiously strong, and my hamstrings were starting to mis-fire. Had I started cramping going into Tripoli Rd, I would have been doomed.

Part way up Tripoli Rd. Smooth as butter here.

It was a great ride, with about 14 miles of dirt climbing. For the day, we logged about 110 miles and just over 10,000ft of climbing in 6.4 hours. Given how hot it became, I was very glad I did not do the Balloon Festival race in NY. It was even hotter there. There was some attrition in that race, and I would have added to it.


Shawn Gavin said...

Nice summary. You wouldn't happen to have the digital map (google, garmin or otherwise) for your post TT ride, would you? I think I can piece it together, but that would be great. Thanks!

PS: ditto on the a$$ pull.

JB said...

Hey Doug-
If you want to get a great TT bike that doesn't break the bank, you should consider the Cervelo P2C. If you can find one, a used P3SL is also great.

I know a very good triathlon coach who has one of his Elite guys race on a Leader TT frame with good results. As long as you're set up correctly, you're in good shape.


Hill Junkie said...

Shawn, I uploaded the Topo GPX file to Bikely. You can view the route there on a Google map or download the GPX track file to your own app or GPS. I see now the auto route generation in Topo got one bit wrong. We took Tripoli Rd around Wateville, not through the village like the route will show.

Hill Junkie said...

JB - I almost bought a P2C instead of my Ridley Noah. Our team sponsor, IBC, carries both brands and gives team members a nice break on cost. I figured I will always do more road races than TT's. The Dean Ti bike I have been using weighs about 19 lbs, and in the types of races I like to do, that heft can matter. Looks like winter project for me will be to watch for a deal on a P2C or a P3. I couldn't possibly splurge on another road bike right now. I need to unload a couple first.

solobreak said...

"There was some attrition in that race, and I would have added to it."

Yeah, by shelling the field on the climbs.

Nice ride. You don't need a TT bike. Clipons, skinsuit, and the 50mm wheels get you 85% of the way there. Helmet, maybe, but it depends on how you hold your head. Tape on the vents may be even better than an aero helmet. The glove obsession all comes from the one article with the MIT guy that was in Bicycling. I think the case for no gloves was grossly overstated, but anyway, to me they're essemtial safety equipment. I've crashed a skateboard with no gloves and it wasn't fun. Plus you can wipe your tires before the start. That could save your race.

What's next?

Hill Junkie said...

Thanks. Playing around at Analytic Cycling and armed with a couple PowerTap stats from another rider, I was toying with some what-if scenarios on the WV TT course. I figure with full aero, I could've come in about 3 minutes faster. Maybe not enough to beat Bold, but certainly putting me into cash pay-out.

What's next? Housatonic on Sunday. Hope it is a lot cooler by then. Looks like one of the most stacked fields I've ever competed in. Even though they took out the mile long wall to the finish, the altered course should do a fine job of decimating the field.

Probably doing a mountains double metric in northern VT on the 21st. Okemo HC on 28th. I would love to do N. American Masters in Sutton over the 4th, but I have major project deadline on July 7. I'll probably be working that weekend. July 19 is the Mt Evans hillclimb with a week of high altitude mountain biking to follow. The Equinox HC/Bow RR double header weekend is always killer. Still haven't decided if I'll do Hilltowns or Tokeneke this year. I enjoyed Tokeneke last year. The big event I'm targeting this year is the Shenandoah 100 mile MTB race. That will probably take 9hrs with something like 13,000ft of climbing. Thus the motivation behind all these 6+ hr mountains rides. D2R2 the weekend before will be a stretch the legs warm-up for the Shenandoah. I haven't done a MTB race in a couple years, so I'm scared. Very scared.