Team Time Trial

After my first race of the season, my good friend Aaron asked my if I wanted to do a TTT (team time trial)on the next weekend.  At first, I thought no way, I haven’t been riding my TT bike.  If you’re going to good at time trials, you have to ride that thing.  The next day was a rest/recovery for me.  I decided to take the bike to a local park and just ride a few easy laps to see how the set up felt.  15 miles later, I had convinced myself that a time trial sounded like a good idea.  I figured that I would do the TT unless we found a third person for a TTT.  I signed up for the 40+3 individual TT.  Aaron is 29.speed concept

A couple of days go by and Aaron informs me that we only need two people for a TTT.  I’m in but I already registered.  If you take care of the particulars, I’m in for the TTT.  Aaron got on the internet and team Hugebauer was born.

Friday night comes around and my TTT partner calls me and asks if I have a 10 speed sram red rear derailleur that he can borrow.  No, I said, I have 2.  I started thinking, hey, Justin is racing as well and he goes like 2 hours before me. I should see if he’d want to use my TT bike instead of his road bike.  Even if it didn’t fit 100%, it would still be faster than  a standard road bike.  He came by that night and got it from me.  I’ll see you in the morning; and he was off.

Saturday morning came around and Aaron showed up with his ailing Cannondale Slice.  He gets his bike in the work stand and gets going.  I left him alone to do the repair.  A few minutes later I went out to check on his progress and he was having some trouble with the indexing of the gears.  It’s probably the hanger.  Why don’t you check with my derailleur hanger adjustment tool?  I went back inside to deal with a few emails.  2 minutes later he came into my office with a snapped off derailleur hand in one hand and a frown on his face.  We looked at each other, took and deep breath, and I knew we were going to overcome this set back.  Aaron also brought his Caad 12 with him, as we were going to do some course recon for Sunday’s road race.

Well, I’ve got some clip on aero bars.  Just take the wheels off the TT bike and we’ll be fine.

I can’t, they’re 10 speed hubs and my road bike is 11 speed.

Cyclist problems.

What do you have on your Caad 12?

Ultegra tubeless.

Take my HiFi’s, they’re 50mil deep and I just put new S-Works tire on them.  I rode them yesterday, they’re fast!

 

It only took a few minutes and we were back in business.  We hit the road feeling good and would be at the race in an hour.  40 minutes later, Justin calls me and informs me that when he went to swap out the training wheel with the race wheel, the rear derailleur and hanger fell of the bike.  Time for another deep breath…

 

I’m like 20 minutes away, I don’t know what I can do from here.  Try to fix it and if you can’t, I’ll be there soon.  A couple more phone calls and Justin got the bike back together, but missed his start time.  I felt really bad for him.  A lot goes into racing your bicycle.  A bunch of it is the build up in your mind. You spend a lot of time visualizing and thinking about what you’re going to do.  Racing a TT can be pretty mental, your mind can easily wander and it’s important to go in feeling good.

As they say, that’s bike racing

I’ve always hated that saying, but I guess it’s true.  The toothpaste is out of the tube and you just have to move on to the next thing in front of you.  That’s what Aaron and I did.  There were only 3 teams competing in our category.  One team had 5 members and the other had 4.  Out numbered and possibly our gunned.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Aaron has a 4.7 watts per kilo and I’m around 4.1 watts per kilo.  Basically that means that he is stronger than me and also weighs about 25-30 pounds less than I do.  Good thing the course is mostly uphill.  Time for another deep breath.

We set out from the town of Lyons and pointed ourselves towards Boulder 12 miles away.  The first 2 miles of the course were slightly downhill with a tailwind.  After that, it started to climb.  The plan was to have Aaron pace me up the hills and I would do my share on the flats, downhills, and put myself in the wind as much as possible.  That dude is super strong and I really had to go deep to stay with him as I’m sure he was holding back for me.  We traded pulls along the way and made it to Boulder in 28:30 or so with an average speed of 25.2 mph.  The few inclines and the constant crosswind made for a very tough race for me.

Our efforts were good enough for a second place finishing only 30 seconds behind the winning 5 man team.  We couldn’t have been happier with our result and more importantly we had a ton of fun racing together.

Every season I ride and race my bikes I learn something new.  More than anything, I’ve learned you just have to keep moving forward.  They say you lose more than you win and I’m ok with that.  As long as I do my best and give it everything, I can’t ask more of myself than that.

Team Georgia

A couple of months ago, Michael contacted me through my website and told me that he and his wife were interested in coming out to Colorado.  They were wanting to follow the USA pro challenge, get in some cycling, and see more of the state.  This was to be the first trip for my new venture.

I have been riding for more than 30 years and have ridden with many types of people all at different levels.  I’m no pro, but I can usually hang with most people.  I had a bit of home field advantage with the altitude, so I made sure to ride at a moderate and steady pace.  The last thing I wanted to do was blow them out of the water on day one.

A few days and more than 100 miles of riding into the trip, we were slated for a ride up Independence Pass.  On this particular ride, you top out at 12,059′ above sea level.  Michael and Brittany were holding up pretty well and seemed to be adjusting to the change in elevation from Atlanta.  We spent the previous night camped out at Turquoise Lake just outside of Leadville, CO.  The elevation here was just under 10,000′.

The race route that day started out of Copper mountain ski area, climbed over Freemont Pass, sped through the town of Leadville, and then did a lap around the lake before turning towards Indy pass to eventually finish in Aspen.  At the base of east side of the pass lies Twin Lakes.  It’s an incredible vista with Colorado’s highest peak, Mt. Elbert(14,433′) standing proud just north of highway 82.

twin lakes

I made sure to start a few miles out from the base of the climb to ensure time for a proper warm up.  This side of the pass is right around 22 miles long with 3,000′ of vertical.  It’s not the hardest climb, but the time spent climbing and the elevation gain can certainly wear one down. The first 10 miles are pretty gentle.  The road climbs, but then gives you a break as it flattens out.  Slow and steady was the way to conquer the mountain on this day.  With my experience on the bike and riding with many others, I feel I can judge what someone has in them on a particular day.  Michael was riding strong, but Brittany was having a harder time getting her legs underneath her.  We mostly rode at her pace and I used that to my advantage in order to snap some photos.indy
cliff

It took a little bit of encouragement, and maybe a push or two, but we made it to the top.  I was really happy for them.  I love to see people push themselves and make new gains whether physical or mental.

Brittany had had enough, but since we had some time to spare, Michael and I descended the west side for a bit before turning back to climb to the top.

west side

Shortly after hitting the summit for the second time, the party atmosphere started to pick up as the race leaders quickly approached.

unbearable

Bear costumes, women in bikinis, and men wearing dresses seemed totally normal.  It was quite cold(upper 40’s?) and windy.  Those conditions made it a bit tough to hang out, but knowing what the riders were dealing made it that much easier.  The first few riders came through in 1’s and 2’s, then slightly larger groups.  None bigger than maybe 20.  This climb really blew the race apart!greg

A few minutes passed by and all the racers had come over the top.  It was nice that the Clifbar tent had a TV up top.  We were able to watch the race unfold and eventually catch the sprint finish as the peloton rolled into Aspen.

After it was all said and done, I asked Michael if he wanted to descend the pass.  He was inclined for the decline, so we headed out for the 25 miles and 4,000′ elevation drop.  This is no easy task though.  You actually have to pedal and do some work to get down to town.  The headwind the entire way down didn’t help much, but we pushed through it. The descent really gave us an appreciation for what the racers had deal with; it was great.