Sunday, September 7, 2014, was spectacular weather for racing!
David G., Alexy U., and me lined up for what would be the last TT for each of us this year, but this time instead of competing against each other, we would be doing the Route 29 TT as a team of three. I was super stoked to be asked to be on this strong team and excited to race.
We had a great ride, all taking equal pulls on the very flat 20+ mile out and back course. The format for the race is unique and nice. After the "out" leg, your time is taken and you have about 1 minute of neutral to U-turn, line up, and start again. This eliminates the need to try to do a fast turn around, especially on this road where the promoter was not permitted to completely stop traffic.
Our out and back legs were very similar, averaging almost 30 miles per hour. We ended up taking the win by several minutes, and we all went home with a little extra dough in our pockets.
BJL Coaching Athlete Kevin E. had a great ride for what would be his last TT of the year as well. Keving scored in the top 10 again and put forth a solid effort on this long course.
I was also excited for my teammate Keith L. who took the win the the Masters 40+ Category in his first TT this year. Actually, it was his first TT is many years and this was a great prep for the half Iron Man Tri that he had a couple of weeks following.
Great way to cap off the TT season. Now, we're looking forward to getting out on the dirt, grass, gravel, pavement, sand, mud, and whatever else will comprise the 'cross courses.
Keep it rolling!
This was a last minute add for me, as originally this great event did not fit into my schedule. When my day opened up, I jumped at the chance to participate in one of my favorite TT courses around.
The weather was amazing, and there was a good buzz, both literally and figuratively as the racers warmed up on their trainers in the parking lot. I hit the line ready to go and was looking forward the challenges that this event brings. The course begins on a nice, albeit bumpy, flat road, then you turn towards "the hill." Naughtright looms like a wall in front of you, but after the initial punch, it climbs fairly steady for a while. Then, once up top of Schooley's Ridge, you tackle one more little roller, a decent flat section, and then bang a hard right onto River Road. You lose all the elevation gained on this road, although over a longer distance than Naughtright. However, speeds still creep up over 40 MPH even on standard road bikes, as TT rigs are not permitted. Finally, you sweep onto Bartley-Flanders Road for the finishing home straight on this pancake flat section. The course is about 11 miles long with almost 800' of gain.
I had a good run and caught several riders. Andreas R. smoked the course again and took home another victory in 35+, catching me about 2/3 of the way through. I was also passed by the winner and I believe fastest time of the day by a rider in the Senior Men Category. My time put me in 3rd place for the fourth time in the four races I competed in the NJ TT Cup this year. These four consistent results actually put me into 5th overall which was a little bonus, as I wasn't pursuing the cup this year.
BJL Coaching's Kevin E. had another good day on the bike, finishing just outside the top 10 in 12th place. This jumped him up to 11th place in the Cup for the Men 4/5 division for his first year in competition. Nice work, Kevin!
If you've never done a TT and you're looking for help, shoot me a message!
Having not raced since mid-April, I was itching to go fast and hard with a number somewhere on my bike or body, so I signed up for the PA TT Championships at Lake Nockamixon in Quakertown. It was actually an hour closer than the TT in NJ, and the course was longer with some climbing, so it sounded great.
Since one TT isn't enough pain for the day, I decided to sign up for two categories, Masters 40-44 and Cat 3. The promoter was cool and offered a discount to the 10-12 knuckleheads who were doing two, and let us go basically first and then last so we had ample time to warm-up, cool-down, switch numbers, warm-up again, and cool-down one last time.
My first run was early and I don't think my engine was fully charged up yet, but I had a pretty good time. I was 28:08 for the 12 miles with 600 feet of gain, which put me in 5th in Masters 40-44. It would have been 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, in every other Masters category, including the younger folks. Actually, I would have won every older category, except 50-59...that guy CRUSHED it! I love seeing the "old" guys and gals showing up the youngins.
An hour later, I was back on the line for Cat 3. This time I had some rabbits and chased down 6-7 guys, which I think really helped keep my time close to my first run. I ended up 28:30, 1 second off of 4th, in 5th place again. I was definitely pleased with this considering my lack of racing, lack of sleep, and only getting on my TT bike a few times before the race. I certainly see areas where I can improve and am looking forward to the next event! I definitely recommend this one to anyone that does TT's or wants to try one for next year. Being the State Championships, it brings out all the best PA guys. On a side note, I was the fastest NJ guy there, which was pretty cool.
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.