Two long days of travel distanced home from Redlands. We ascended the Rocky Mountains, sprawled across van bench seats listening to Enya and Rage Against the Machine. Katy Perry style (Hot and Cold). As in oposites. I wasn’t listening to the actual song. Though it’s a good song. Does anyone get any of my jokes by the way?
What the pioneers did in months we did in a few hours, haphazardly eating apples and Subway throughout the day. We made it to Vegas Baby by evening, where we hunkered down and gorged on endless chips and salsa and massive burritos in the Casino. One must consume at least 3,000 calories for dinner after a long van trip like we’d done. The next morning (Tuesday), in preparation for the long day of travel Nick, Colt, and I frequented the breakfast restaurant right next to the Mexican joint we went to the night before. It was an easy walk, all conveniently located in the smokey casino of our hotel. 10 minutes into our breakfast, Scott and our mechanic, Alex, walked up to our table. To our surprise, they’d been sitting just a few tables away from us.
But we’d been busy discussing how we’d steel pancakes out of the restaurant so of course we hadn’t seen them.
Scott: “I see you guys went with the all you can eat $4 pancakes.”
Nick: “Yeah, the house doesn’t always win.”
Truer words have never been spoken. I snuck out a fully loaded box of Tupperware in a jacket too.
I slept for at least half of the drive the following day and woke up in a familiar, sunny parking lot. Where were we? I knew immediately once my senses awoke. I sniffed the air, hungry for the tears and dark red jugular blood of my competition. I inhaled a heavy whiff of Chipotle instead. Even better. After the necessary Chipotle stop, but before the inevitable Trader Joe’s stop, we went to one of our three host houses to unload and build bikes for our afternoon spin. I chose my TT bike. My brand new Planet-X TT bike, that is. Never been ridden and just built two days before. The ideal time to test out new equipment in in races. Everyone knows this.
My hip/glute problem was finally dissipating –and just in time too. I had two days to train for the Redlands TT. Two days would do just fine. I got in a good two hours that night, then a solid three hours the following day (split into two rides of course. I would never do a three hour pre-race ride in one chunk. That would be foolishly long).
With my glutes pretty beat from all the time I’d spent in the aero bars circling around the Sunset loop, I was confident by race day, which was today. I’ve been a fan of the original Redlands TT course, which finishes at the top of a very steep 4-minute climb. In my opinion, which is the correct opinion, it’s the hardest effort you’ll do all year. I mean hardest as in the sharpest, most leg and lung-damaging 9-minute effort of the year. Or at least the most painful TT. I can never find that same level of pain in a flat TT, which might be why I continually suck at them.
Anywho, the new TT course was also very cool. It was a twisty, rolling course up around Big Bear Lake. As some of you may be aware of, Spencer and I lived up in Big Bear for the better part of a month and a half a few years ago, so it was cool returning to drill my previous recovery route. I went about the same speed actually.
There’s nothing interesting to write about during a TT but I’ll do it anyways. I started out REALLY fucking hard and couldn’t pedal less than 480 watts for a long time. I actually thought my power meter was broken all of a sudden. Then my legs and entire body started to hurt so I slowed down. I continued to slow down after the turn around, even though I now had a tailwind. I crossed the finish line wishing I’d gone harder, but isn’t that almost always the case? Not with the old TT course at least. I did a nice long cool down and tried to calm my coffee-induced spasms to a minimum. Then we drove down back to Big Bear. Left at 9, got back at 5. For a 16 minute effort. Sounds about right.
EDITED: I was 54th.
Enjoy some nice colorful pictures while you skip reading everything up above you lazy inbreds:
Our host stopped by Panera Bread after hours to pick up more leftover baked goods than a house full of stoners would know what to do with. Good thing we eat more than a house full of stoners. I gained 12 kilos just looking at this stuff. Spencer, where were you when we needed you!!!!! Seriously this was messed up. I couldn’t even fit everything in the photos.
Our guest rider, Garrett. He’s Canadian.
Scott ready to Crush. I can’t be bothered to turn these photos around. All these pics look the same anyways.
New TT bike. Should have left the hot Zipp 404 and disc on for the photo though. I was trying to get Garrett to take a good pic of the bike but he sucks as a photographer. I’m guessing because he’s Canadian. Can you name ONE good Canadian photographer other than Lynn? Didn’t think so. (That’s not a roll of fat on my waist. It’s my skin suit top wrapped around me. Just needed to clarify).
Nick doing stuff.
I rode to the backside of Big Bear and down the mountain just enough to get to the desert.
Nick doing more stuff while I shove a camera in his face.
Colt in post-TT depression state.
Don’t give me any lip about spelling mistakes and stuff. This was a record time race report with no editing. Gotta beat Ian at something.