Saturday Time Trial

Saturday we had a 10 mile bicycle time trial. It was a ton of fun, though it was pretty cold out. We started at Madrona Beach Park and headed South on Lake Washington Boulevard to Seward Park. Then back up North to just past Madrona Beach Park to make 10 miles.

We started off in waved of about 8 riders. We didn’t want to start in one huge group because we didn’t want to interfere with traffic on the road. Amy left in the second wave, but I wasn’t ready yet (resetting my bike computer).

I left in the third wave. I started off around 5th in my wave, but after a block I passed everyone in my group and started to pull away. After about 5 more blocks, I saw one of the first wave riders standing by the side of the road. I decided to stop and help him out. His rear brakes were sticking (looked like a bunch of dirt got in the spring). I wasn’t too worried about my time because I was recording it by my bike computer. It’s set to stop tracking ride time when you stop peddling 🙂

I got the other rider back on his bike and decided to follow him for a while. He set a really good pace, and before I knew it we were starting to approach Seward Park. The other rider was slowing down, so I passed him.

A block later I saw Captain Karin heading back the other way. I told Karin a few weeks ago that one of my goals is to beat her bike split at the triathlon. She was pedaling strong and it inspired me to keep my pace up.

About a block from Seward, I saw Amy going the other way. I went flying around the park turn around and headed back up the road, trying to catch up with her. The first words out of Amy’s mouth when I caught her were “Pass me so I can draft off you!” Well, I passed her, but she couldn’t keep up 😀

A few minutes later, I got passed by the rider I stopped to help. He was flying again! I never did catch back up to him. I passed a few more riders and finally got to the end. I took my bike computer off its bracket to keep the time, then peddled at a leisurely pace back to the start. I saw Amy again almost at the end. She wasn’t that far behind me!

I got back to the cars where we started and saw Karin talking to some other team mates. I walked up and asked her time. She did 10 miles in 34 minutes. I pulled out my bike computer and showed it to her. 32 minutes. I beat her by 2 minutes! She smiled, shook my hand, and said “It’s on!” Guess I’m going to have to keep my pace up!

Here’s my bike. It’s a 2009 Specialized Tarmac Elite. It’s a carbon fiber frame with Shimano 105 gear. I got a great deal on it because it was “last years” model when I bought it. It’s a really nice entry level race bike. Best bike I’ve ever owned.

A lot of people in the greater Seattle area buy bicycles with a triple crank. I decided to go with the double compact crank. I really don’t use all the gears a triple gives you, though it would sometimes be nice on the hills.

2009 Specialized Tarmac Elite Compact

I decided to pair the bike with Shimano 105 pedals. I sometimes wish I went with the slightly more expensive Shimano Ultegra. They have better bearings in them. Sometimes the 105’s are upside down when I try to clip my shoes in. The Ultegra’s should do that a lot less. That will probably be my first upgrade to the gear on the bike.

Shimano SPD-SL 105 Pedals

I ended up with Specialized shoes. The most important part of the gear is the shoe, as it’s what attaches you to the bike. Make sure you get a good fit! These shoes are amazing for my feet and pedal style. The only time I’ve gotten cold feet so far is during the time trial. Most of my rides, whether cold or hot weather, my feet feel pretty good in these shoes.

Specialized Comp Road Shoe

I got this Specialized helmet for a great price. It’s about the second cheapest model they offer. But it has a great tightening mechanism in the back to “dial in” your head size. And its got great air flow in the summer. For cold weather riding, I have a small skull cap made by UnderArmor that helps keep the heat in.

Specialized Echelon Helmet

And a great little bag on the back. I like this bag because it’s expandable. My longest ride has been 44 miles so far. It’s nice having the extra space for Gu or energy drink powder.

Specialized Wedgie Bag

10 mile TT:
Me = 32 minutes
Captain Karin = 34 minutes
Amy = 35 minutes

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