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Lone Star Triathlon: The Bike

Posted Jan 11 2009 5:41pm
So yeah. My swim was below average: 49:30. I know I can go faster. T1: 2:46. Not too shabby. But the good news is I expended almost no real effort getting to that point based upon my average heartrate. And unlike the swimmer kids, I have the advantage in T1: As soon as the swim is over I know I am going to finish. I know that Carmen Tequilo, she is waiting. Carmen longs to ride. And I, . . . I yearn to once again embrace and caress her while I slide myself into . . . .

Wait. What were we talking about?

THE GOOD

Because my buddy Bolder is wandering around his pad murmuring, "homage," I will stick with Bolder's patented format.

My goal in this outing was to do a well-paced ride that would allow me to run even splits without walking. I did this, notwithstanding some very challenging conditions. The bike split was only 3:21:50, not flashy, but I only needed an average heartrate of 130 to get that done. That's almost like napping, Tac Boy. I was essentially the same bike split as Buffalo Springs at my peak last year, but this time instead of being cooked where I could not run, I was fresh off the bike. I love it when a plan comes together.

THE BAD

About 28 miles of the two loop course were ridden into the teeth of a 20+ mph coastal wind. This was very very hard, and likely would have cooked me in the past, but thanks in part to the Simply Stu podcast on mental training, I kept my head, hunkered down, and got it done without being impatient, and staying focused in the moment. .

THE UGLY

I took the headwind straight in the face. Others? Not so much.

Up to this point, I did not quite understand all the hubub about drafting, but there is nothing like pulling yourself into a wind that threatenes to knock you off your bike to make you resent those who don't.

I got passed on the bike by some faster, stronger cyclists. I also got passed by some cheaters who were blatently sucking wheels and moving in packs, gaining at least a 20% advantage in the process. I'm not talking about drifting in and out of a 3 bike length draft zone. I'm talking about moving in a pack of six riders, two abreast, two feet from back wheel to front wheel, for miles at a time. If I had cut the course by 20%, I would be disqualified for cheating. These people should have been disqualified as well.

So, I asked myself the question: WWBD? No, not "what would Benny do?" " By the Book Ben," Ironman veteran, would have issued a gentlemanly reminder to his fellow competitors. I was thinking more along the lines of "what would Bolder do?"

"NICE PACELINE, F*CKING CHEATERS!"

Did I say that out loud? I can neither confirm nor deny.

If I did, no one heard me. The howling wind was too loud.

THE REALLY REALLY GOOD

The bike course was two 28 mile out and backs. I felt even stronger on the second trip. All this base training must be working. I had plenty in the tank so I started gobbling up the riders in front of me, even while clawing into the wind. I looked at people's ages, marked on their calves, as I passed, and thought to myself, "Dude, you're 27!!! You just got dropped by a 40 year old married guy!"

Of course, at one point a woman with "Air Force Cycling" on the back of her . . . of her . . . her cycling kit passed me. But I did not mind so much. Riding behind her draft zone made me feel . . . patriotic.

I'm a red blooded American man, that way.

Hey, not that kind of patriotic, and anyway, I passed her back after awhile, gave her the "Go Air Force!" got a big smile in return, and dropped her permanently. (Of course, there was the Navy tri-team guy who smoked me like I was a banana republic).

The best was at the turn for home, 20 mph wind at my back, I knew that I needed to hold nothing back. I hit 27 mph on the flats and was able to gain on and gobble up riders I saw two and three miles down the road. As I roared past, I'd give out a "Go Team" for the TNT riders or "Houston Racing!" to a couple of my tri-club team mates.

Sustained speeds of 27 miles per hour!!!

As a grownup, have you ever "WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO-ed" in broad daylight while riding a bike?

I have. It was like being nine again. Let's go play in the tree fort.
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