Time Trial Racing – The Ultimate Test
by Coach Sarah
Time Trialing… what is it, exactly? It could be said that it is the ultimate cycling test of pushing oneself against oneself, and pushing oneself against the clock. It is not that different than the bike leg of a triathlon or duathlon, with the added benefit that there isn’t a swim leg ahead of time, or a run leg afterwards to think about.
This allows a cyclist to strategize differently, truly racing all out, leaving absolutely nothing in the tank at the end. That is where the ultimate test of oneself comes in: the chance to see exactly what your “cycling fuel tank” holds, what your engine is capable of, and just how efficiently your cycling efforts are being doled out.
And for those who race triathlon and/or duathlon, this provides the perfect venue to learn as much about yourself as a cyclist as you possibly can. And from there, you (and your coach, if you train with one) can take this data to improve your weaknesses and enhance your strengths.
We are excited to add a time trialing event, the Bong and a Half 30km Time Trial held in Kansasville, WI on Sunday, June 2nd, to our ET 2013 team event calendar!
This race takes place very close to Pleasant Prairie, one of our favorite racing venues. Kansasville is about a 20-minute drive further northwest. The terrain is flat and fast! Traffic is minimal, other than the occasional other time trialists you pass up or get passed by! 🙂
A few important things to note about time trial racing:
- Socializing with other racers does not occur during the course of the race, as it is truly geared towards each rider pushing themselves to limits beyond their norm. This leaves no time for chit-chat, socializing, or chatter on the race course.
- As you line up for your slotted start time (which you cannot be late for!), talk is kept to a minimum towards the front of the line, if there is any talk at all. This is pretty different than what we are used to when doing our 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons, and various triathlon events. But this etiquette must be respected, and there’s simply no negotiating that.
- As you watch the riders ahead of you in line take off on their countdowns, this gives you a few minutes to really focus and feel the adrenaline rush to your head, heart and legs. If it’s harnessed properly, this can give you an extra burst at the beginning and help set your pace! Once you are next up in line, the American Bicycle Racing (ABR) race official double checks that your bib number (which is pinned tightly to your back or side) matches your timeslot, and they begin to count you down to your start. The large digital clock-timer alongside of them also counts (and beeps) down to your start.
And then you are off!
- You must, must, must hold your line the entire race! No meandering across the road or waffling to the left or right to look at the scenery. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the view from time to time, if you’re not too tired to look! Just please hold your line while doing so! A constant sense of awareness of other cyclists around you is necessary for safety reasons. Along with that, the rules of passing and drafting are strictly enforced. But this is not very different than our USAT sanctioned triathlon events, so don’t let that sound intimidating!
- Once you are finished racing, you safely exit off to the side after ensuring there are no racers coming up behind you, and you begin your cooldown spin to flush out your legs. Occasionally a triathlete or duathlete can be seen jogging off to a brick workout after their race.
All seriousness and solitude of the race itself aside, once you hit the parking lot after your race you can finally begin the chatter, laughter, story telling, and glory living of a tough job well done and a battle survived! And how awesome this would be to do with Team ET!
All ability levels are welcome to race in these events! The website with information on registration can be found at: http://www.midamericatimetrialseries.com. The actual registration for these two events is still forthcoming, but will be posted to that website once it is available. There are multiple TT events on this website, but ET has chosen this particular event as our first Team TT event.
If you decide you’d like to participate in this event, or if you have any questions pertaining to them, please contact Coach Sarah. She will be leading a preview ride for the course on Saturday, May 11, and will be giving tips on what to expect before, during and after the race at that time.