So the boys of Team Big Pants Racing came together last weekend to try and bang out a team time trial for the Buffalo Cycling Club's yearly time trial series. This was a crack pot idea that was construed by none other than our team captain and founder, Ted Graney. All great ideas come from any situation where you think to yourself, "well, it sounded good at the time!" :o) This one was fun and amazingly, we did pretty well too.
Sunday came and I made the drive out to Grand Island for the race. This was pretty low key as it was a club race and we were parking in the lot of an old chemical plant to get our bikes ready. I pulled in and hopped out to stretch out the legs. I had a feeling this was going to be a crazy suffer-fest today because I haven't been biking too much lately. I should've taken the foreshadowing hint, I was right...
I strolled over to registration, met up with our newest team member, Joe Priore and ran into Kevin Patterson of TriSpot. He was a little bit shocked to see me I think, but I reminded him that I do triathlons for TriSpot and I bike race for the Big Pants Racing team!!! (side note - Even though I bike race a lot around the area, I was never asked to be on the TriSpot cycling squad...now, mind you, OTHER folks that are on the tri team, are subsequently on the cycling team as well, but I was left in the dark on this one...okay rant and pity party over)
Well the forecast called for sprinkled showers and we were all decked out on our triathlon bikes with our Team Big Pants kits on. Later we would find out that the sleeveless jerseys were illegal for bike races, but since it was just a club race, they let us slide. For the record, I was in bib shorts and a cycling jersey. Above is the rear of the bib shorts. Since my brain is kind of fried today and this write up came in the semi-monthly Big Pants team newsletter (yes that's right, we have a newsletter) I'll let Ted paint the picture with words of this race:
"And for the first time ever, Big Pants Racing entered a team in the Buffalo Bicycling Club's Team Time Trial on Grand Island last weekend. A 20 mile TTT around the Island. It was a blast, and for our first time at it, without any practice, we put up an impressive time of just over 47 minutes. I know we could have gone faster too. The results haven't been posted yet, but I know we were competitive. The team was Travis, Joe Meyer, Joe Priore, Ryan MacPherson, Kevin Lozano and me. With Ry and Trav on the team the risk of a horrifying crash was so heavy you could almost taste it. But when the starter yelled "GO" we dodged the oncoming traffic and blasted off. Ry and Kevin put in such massive efforts early that they got us going hard and then dropped off to let the remaining four of us bring it home. Those guys are team players. Naturally, it started raining hard 2 minutes before we flew into the only three turns on the course. Travis gave us plenty of room and then sprinted back to catch us and jump back on the front. We started to shorten up our turns at the front and that gave us just enough time to recover before having to take our time on the leading end of the line."
No photos were shot of this momentous race, but I can only assume that we looked like the Team CSC boys above flying into the line :o) In the rain, it was ridiculous to try and hold someones wheel when there was rain flying sideways into your face and a variable rooster tail of road spray coming up from the wheel in front of you. Made the course a lot more challenging than it should have been, but still fun to try and latch on the back of the train after peeling off the front of the line. Really is a lot different than triathlon riding. This was seriously like speed work and intervals on the bike!
So, I know I paced this one TOTALLY incorrectly and was limping back to the finish for the last few K's. Thanks to my teammates for not dropping my sorry ass as I was the 4th one to cross the line and subsequently stop the clock for our team. (even despite the emails about everyone scared that they wouldn't be able to hold my wheel!) In my defense, I took some monster pulls at the front of the line early and dug a pretty deep hole of pain to try to get out of. At one point I was pulling everyone and looked down and spotted 30+mph on the flats. It was crazy.
All in all it was an awesome and fun experience and despite being like the Red Sox (a bunch of idiots) we managed to pull together a respectable time of 47:29 and that was good for 5th overall and if they put us in the Cat5 group like we were SUPPOSED to be in, we would 've been 2nd in Cat5. So not too shabby :o) We all went on another loop as cool down and had some brews (thanks to Ted) in the parking lot post race. Good stuff and I know we all can't wait until next year for this race!
Next up I have to defend my title in the 3rd annual trail beer mile in Rush, NY on Saturday evening. I went an 8:02 and was able to fend off the likes of several top notch Rochester Runners such as Ryan Pauling and Brent Bartlett, among others. So we'll see if I can bring the mini trophy home for another year! Until then, crack a few brews, enjoy your training and get out there on the roads and trails. See you in the sunshine. Cheers!