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.

Colorado Crit racing

At the van, precrit

So there we were in Salida, staring down the barrel of a tough crit.  I had finished 6th in the TT and Aaron had placed a few spots behind me.  His back injury was bothering him and he was also at the disadvantage of using a standard roadbike with clip on aerobars.  Nonetheless, we had both given our all, and it was now time to turn our focus to the days’ event.  Salida sits at 7,083′ above sea level and is surrounded by majestic Rocky Mountain peaks on all sides. The crit course takes place just South of the downtown area and incorporates residential streets, a city park, and a few blocks that take in a small section of commercial real estate. It’s a really fun course that has a long false flat climb up the back side and a handful of fast flowing corners. Two years before, I competed there as a relatively new racer, and had taken sometime off from training just previous to going down there.  Between too much rest and the altitude, I got crushed! I got to the start late so I was forced to be at the back. I worked too hard and after 25 min I was cooked. I think I managed to hold on a few minutes longer, only only to get dropped. I hit my lap timer and after the race I saw that my average HR was 190!

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Back to 2014, I wanted to prove to myself that my first performance was not the type of bike racer I was today.  I got a good warm up, got to the line early, and had a great sense of confidence.  The race started fast, as they all do, and after 15 minutes I was feeling in control and in a good position.  I tend to race towards the front of the group and sometimes OFF the front.  My plan was to sit back, and see what some of the other guys from the other teams were up to.  I noticed the boys from Primal and Sports Garage had some teammates up front laying down the pace. Both teams had strong riders that were capable of winning this contest.  Since I only had two other guys with me in the race and I hadn’t seem either of them yet, I stayed put.  The skies had begun to get darker as the storm clouds were rolling in from the west. With around half of our race finished, the rain started to fall.  Slowly at first, but with big drops.  I don’t mind racing in the wet, I grew up in Illinois and rode in the rain there all the time.  I could sense that some of the guys were getting nervous.  This was great news for me!  The game plan changed a bit then for me.  I was going to race to be safe but not let any moves get up the road.  With just a few laps to go, my confidence was shaken a bit when I felt like I wasn’t going to have the legs to do anything at the end.  I hesitated for a second or two and a gap opened up in front of me.  It doesn’t take much, just a few feet and you start to question if you have what it takes to close back to that wheel.  I told myself that I didn’t and sat up.DCIM100GOPRO

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I came around the next corner and I saw Larsen, he yells at me to get my ass up and get back in the race.  By this time I was like 10-12 seconds off the back and already exhausted.  Something came over me and I gave absolutely everything I had to catch back on.  Holy Shit! I can’t believe I did that! Now I have to hang on for the the two fastest laps of the race, ouch.  I was so motivated after chasing back on that there was no way I was going backwards again.  The pace picked up and even though I was on the back, I was still in the mix.  One last time up the false flat, two corners to go, and then we start sprinting downhill in the rain to the finish line. I moved up a couple spots on the “climb” and was sitting about 10th.  We all got through the first corner, but on the second one, the guy in front of me lost traction with his rear wheel and I had to change my line in order to stay upright.  By this time the guys at the front had already opened up their sprints, and any chance for a top 10 was out for me.  I sprinted to a 12 place in a race that I had previously had been dropped from, raced this year in the rain, and chased back after almost getting dropped again.  I was pretty happy to have finished where I did after learning that more than 60% of the field had pulled out due to the weather.

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I guess the moral of the story is, never give up on yourself!  If you do the training and believe in yourself, all things are possible. So I didn’t win the race, but I did come away with the feeling of racing well.  This was something that I felt was a bit of a turning point for me.  In the races to follow, I showed more patience and continued to get the results that I was capable of.

In 2015, I’ve got plans for this race. I can’t wait to get back to Salida. This year I want to see more of the town and look forward to having more teammates to race with.  I like the feeling of having unfinished business and hope I have the opportunity to do something about it.