Two hill climb TTs in one week? Is that good? Normally I’d say “yes”, but since my effort on Tuesday was protested for wearing headphones, and knowing I wouldn’t be wearing them on Saturday because of it, I wasn’t sure Kingsbury was a good idea. How do you do a hill climb without headphones?
So I left Reno at 8:15 am, thinking I’d get to the base of Kingsbury around 9am and have ample time for a warm-up. I don’t know what it is about going to do races in the Carson Valley but I always misjudge how long it takes to get there. It didn’t help that I thought I had time to get gas at Costco on the way. I arrived at reg at 9:43 am – first rider off at 10am; my start time, 10:13:30. I wasn’t going to get the 45 min warm-up I wanted.
I’ve only ridden the east side of Kingsbury 3x. The first was 3yrs ago, the final climb in this same series and I was a lock for 2nd place with no chance of getting first, so I soft-pedaled it. Then last year on the way to a mother’s day weekend in the eastern Sierra, hot springs, camping, etc. I barely broke 40 min. This year I told myself I would love to break 39 minutes. I feel like I’m in better shape this year but Justin said there was going to be a 25mph headwind, so i wasn’t sure what to expect.
Well, conditions were pretty good and even though I only got a 13 minute warm-up in, I felt pretty confident, at least for the masters.
And so I started, and probably a bit too fast/hard. Does the power meter thingy always have to tick down during a TT? Can one figure out how to meter your effort properly and get it to tick up? I doubt it.
I felt pretty good for most of the climb and was thinking sub-39 was a possibilty but I kept getting more and more uncomfortable on the bike. “Well Jason, you should, it’s a TT after all.” Yeah, yeah but I just wanted to turn around. Near the end I passed a guy who was going pretty good and suddenly the wheels fell off – I couldn’t hold 250 watts. I wasn’t sure what to do and I didn’t know where the finish was but I knew it was close. Stand up, move back on the saddle, stand back up, make the pain go away. Then I rounded the last left turn and saw people and that gave me a boost. I finished at 39:05, just outside my goal but my power was better than it was for Geiger, so I felt pretty good about the effort. And I won. Not so bad.
But as a masters rider, it’s a bit about the race but maybe more about the apres race. This was apres race:
The beer was unspectacular but the nachos were pretty good. But the coolest thing about the day – remember the dude I passed near the end of the race where I almost bonked? Just happend to be Jason S. from Gray; we talked at the top of the hill and decided it would be a good idea to go to the factory and get that rear disc I need for my TT set up. He showed me around and I got to geek out on some of the cool things they have to offer. Thanks Jason.
Until next time…
For more photos of the event, check out the gallery on Thomas Compton’s website.