Sunday, August 13, 2006

Time trial twist

Sunday, 13 August

In my pre-July, ignorance-is-bliss days, I thought a time trial meant you went out and pedaled nonstop for whatever distance and checked the clock. If you didn't pedal nonstop, something was wrong (usually a crosswind, in my case). At Seven Springs, I encountered a new twist on TT courses (steep up, fast down, tight curves) and I loved it. Today's new variation is one I can do without: three lengthy stretches of crushed rock, which you encountered going out to the turnaround and coming back to the finish.

This was no ordinary time trial; it was the state team time trial championship. That meant that you hit those gravel patches in a group of four riders. It's a flat course, so it would've been a good day to weigh 175 pounds. Sadly, no one in my group came close (OK, so maybe we're not really sad about that), and we skittered our way through crushed rock and round river rocks and soft dirt and whatever else Grays Harbor County puts down when they're building a road. We all got through without anything more than a stray foul word or two (speaking for myself alone, there), but not all teams were so lucky and there were flats and crashes.

Turns out I'm not the best TTT teammate; I'd accelerate too soon when I got to the front, before the rider ahead of me had latched on to the back of the paceline. We were an unevenly matched gang of four, trying to make our different skill sets compatible. It worked sometimes, and sometimes we'd have to ease up to regroup. But it was fun (which is what counts)!

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