Sunday, March 8, 2009

Berkeley 2-man TT

Place: 5th
Category: 70+
Field Size: 32 teams
Conditions: Cool, Sunny & No Wind
Team Mates: Clark Foy


Race Report:
Clark and I were really looking forward to this year's 2-man time trial. Leading up to the event we had ventured up to the course to scout it out and see it first hand. Clark knew it well from doing this event before (and the Berkeley RR which runs on the same loop), but I was a rookie. It helped to see it before the race and get somewhat familiar with the climbs, descents and corners. We also teamed up at BtC last weekend to get some 2-man TT practice.

We arrived early with plenty of time to get in a nice hour warm-up. Almost too early as we definitely didn't feel rushed. However, as we were pinning on our numbers we quickly realized that our start time was approaching faster than either of us had thought and if we didn't hustle we'd miss our start time. The parking lot is about a mile away from the start line. We hopped on the bikes and booked! We came to the line with only a minute to spare; the benefit being we were plenty warmed up for the TT effort.

Our strategy was to take 30 second pulls and adjust accordingly if one of us was feeling too spent. It also made sense to maximize my gravity-friendly abilities on the descents and have Clark pace us up the climbs. Darn gravity, it works both ways.

Off we start and settle into a nice pace. We quickly pass two teams in front of us and make it through the minimal rollers without much trouble. At this point my HR is pegged right around 171 and the legs were getting over the initial shock to the system. We hit our first downhill and Clark pulls over to let me through. I made sure not to hit the gas too hard until I knew he was safely tucked on my wheel. Over the next two minutes we bombed down the hill at peaking at 46mph and averaging 38.4mph. Through the first right hand turn on to Castro Ranch and up next is our first climb.

A punchy climb sees Clark lead us up and over. We soon realized that it made the most sense for Clark to pull us over the top and through the initial portions of the following descents to allow me a bit more of recovery. Then I'd swing around and pull the rest of the way down the hill. We did this on the next descent and continued to do so over the rest of the course.

With a third of the course behind us and a screaming descent down to Alhambra, we sweep through the next turn doing 30mph. This is where things really started to hurt. The pavement is not great and the gradually ascending rollers make it very hard to find the right pace. Other than the upcoming Mama and Papa Bear climbs, this to me was the hardest part of the TT. It was difficult to keep consistent power to the pedals and some of the jarring potholes in the road weren't kind to the undercarriage.

Mama Bear was up next. I soon started to utter my new "favorite" word to Clark..."off". I didn't want to blow on this climb and I had to call up to him to ramp it back just a bit. Even still I was climbing these about 8% above threshold (this should give you an idea of what it's like to stick on Clark's wheel going uphill). Both Mama and Papa Bear are climbs where you can see the summit from the bottom of the hill, and these summits just never seem to come soon enough.

Down the backside of Mama, over another little hill and on to the descent to Papa Bear. We come bombing down and carry ourselves a fair ways up the hill due to our speed. Clark gets to his usual position in front of me with myself chattering "off" every once in a while. I do have to say Clark's positive vocal encouragement was a great help as we climbed this last hill.

We crest and bomb down the last short descent to the finish line. No rest for the tired as we gave all we had to cross together. My data shows that my HR averaged 175 for the last 5 minutes of the course. We clocked through at 40:52.5. The goal was sub-40, but we were pretty happy with the effort.

At the results table we found out that our Morgan Stanley friends of Phipps/Dyrwal had beat us out for 4th by 1.5 seconds. A sting of agony, but our tanks were empty and the clock doesn't lie. Overall the strength displayed in the category was something to behold and those finishing above us read like a who's who of big TT guns. Next time we'll make sure we have more weapons on our belt.


Ukrainian Strongman said...

Hey Todd, it's Dyrwal. Congrats to you and Clark for a great race on Saturday! Sounds like you guys really work well together.

Are you and Clark interested in the Altamont TTT, and if so, do you have 4 guys lined up yet?


Ukrainian Strongman said...

btw -- if you'd rather reply to me directly, my email address is

Manley Man said...

Apparently we worked well together for the whole race, minus 1.5 seconds.

The Altamont offer sounds interesting, but we (SJBC) are going to field separate 35+ and 45+ teams. Clark, if you didn't know, has graduated to the geezer group (45+).

Ukrainian Strongman said...

Oh well. It was worth a shot...

Let me know if you guys are ever interested in either training together or doing a TTT together. Both Chris and I work in SF and could possibly meet up with you in the eve after work.

See you at Madera!