The time-trial was set to go this morning beginning at 9 am and was to occur starting at the 45 km mark of the ride today. That meant I needed to leave at 7 am for sure but that was absolutely no trouble as I was staying at Cynthia Aukema’s house with all of the perpetual early risers. I was on the road at a record time of 20 minutes before 7 and doodled my way along to the start point of the time trial an hour before my scheduled start time of 9:17 am. (I would be the 18th rider to leave)
I hopped off my bike and took a bit of a break for my bum and legs as more and more riders arrived. The funny one was Kyle Meyerink who was very nervous about the whole situation and wasn’t afraid to let anyone know that fact. He had never raced before but is very strong and everyone was putting big expectations on him to really get out there and perform well. I on the other hand was testing out my new clavicle brace and people were just happy to see me out there going to give it a shot. Low expectations are great sometimes.
How time trials work… at least on the C2C tour
- Riders set off at 1 minute intervals from the start line and head down the road as fast as they can for 40 kms at which point we have our times taken which have the offset removed and we see who was fastest.
- Normally a time trial is an out-and-back so that the wind has net-zero effect but people weren’t interested in that so we dealt with a cross-headwind for the whole 40 kms.
- Normally the race is done on a closed course but we had marshals out instead to give riders warning if they had to slow down at intersections but were ultimately at the mercy of traffic whether or not they had to stop.
Like I mentioned I had hopes of 66 minutes which wouldn’t be completely unreasonable in zero wind with my shoulder in such condition and no aero-bars which I couldn’t use also because of the shoulder. (aerobars are at a minimum a mile-per-hour advantage so 2 minutes or so) I set off and pulled off equal splits for the first 2 10 km markers of 16:45. My third 10 kms had the toughest wind and I ran into a bit of trouble concentrating 17:13 seconds. In my final 10.65 kms I really had to hammer on the brakes at an intersection which torqued my shoulder and left side of my back and I was pretty sore, I collected myself well and with my finishing push managed 16:44 split there, my fastest split considering the extra 650 meters.
The results of the race were rather expected. Reuben Vyn stole the show by a full minute finishing in the 63 minute range, Jon Vanderveen claimed second a minute behind and Nick Ellens who was riding Andrw Aukema’s TT bike claimed third 2 minutes back. Kyle Meyerink didn’t crash into the ditch and didn’t run out of steam halfway and didn’t save too much for the second half, executing the race very well and proudly finishing in slot #4. I rounded out the top 5 and was content with 1:07:42 considering the headwind it would probably have been very close to 66 minutes in no-wind conditions. Eritia humbly accepted the award for fastest female.
Riding through London’s Springbank park I decided to stop in at my mom’s house while growing up… it’s still there and I got a tour of the renovations by the current owner.
The hosts here organized a trip to the velodrome in London which is one of very few indoor cycling tracks in Canada and about 15 riders had a fanatastic time there.The track length is 128 meters compared with Edmonton’s 333.3 meter track so everything feels much faster and the adrenaline really gets flowing. We got a bit of a lesson from a few of the coaches there and did a few drills riding around the track on the apron (the flat section just inside the track): accelerating and deccelerating: turning up and down over the “cote” (the blue strip) on the straightaways and doing a bit of fallen rider avoidance.
The jump from riding the apron to riding the sprinting lane on the track is a pretty exciting step, you just have to go for it. With about 7 at a time we hopped up there and all basically at the same time hopped up there. It felt a bit like this was something I’d prefer trying alone on the track but I was sandwiched right in there between Kyle Meyerink and Eritia Smit. I had to get it right on my first try and really had to hope everyone else did as well. Of course as seasoned pros it didn’t end up being an issue and we were soon doing laps of the track!
After getting the first feel we each were given a chance to let it rip alone on the track and see how it felt to choose your own pace and select your own line. I felt like giving it a real shot at speed but found out rather quickly that while I of course have the legs to get that bike up there as far as kph is concerned I did not have the experience to keep it smoothly between the red and the black lines. I didn’t crash but I did get the joking threat of having a chair thrown at me if I didn’t slow down a bit. From there on out we rode as a group once more all in single file and by the end of that I did feel like I was beginning to collect the skills needed to keep a much straighter line. My problem had been assuming that at the end of the turn I would be spit out in a straight line and that is not at all the case. Getting out of the turn smoothly takes significantly more concentration than getting in.
Upon returning to camp I had my Aunt Anita waiting to find me… I had no idea she would be there so the detour to the velodrome perhaps wasn’t such a great timeline choice but she did seem to know many people who were here and we did get to chat for quite a bit before she headed back north to the farm.
We’ve had a few days in a row where SeatoSea has been on the front page of the local paper. While it feels good and gets everyone excited it also does mean that the message of the tour’s purpose is getting out there.