For most of July, I've been feeling pretty ragged; like I imagine I'd feel if I spent a whole weekend watching a 122 episode Nash Bridges marathon. The Tour of the Valley, the Chapel Crits, getting beaten up at Westlake, training rides, and perpetual rain started to add up.
This week I started feeling human again. By Thursday I was actually feeling good and was looking forward to my trip up to Leroy. I haven't done the TT since July 2nd, so I was wondering if I could beat my best time of the season so far.
As 6:30 rolled around, a big group turned up to try their luck on the course, nearly exhausting Jim's supply of popsicle sticks. Chris started #1, I ended up drawing 8th and had a few other Mercxx riders ahead of me to chase after.
As Mark rolled off from the start, a person (I think it was a woman) in a Porsche drove past the fire station on the TT course/Leroy Center Road and got very annoyed at being delayed by a kid who was riding his BMX bike on the left side of the road and the TT riders on the right side. Of course, instead of calmly waiting for 10-20 seconds for the situation to be safe and to pass in a civil fashion, she threaded the needle between the two bikes and gunned the engine. It reminded me of our CRC training ride this spring where a dude in a Porsche blew by us on Chagrin River Road over a blind hill around a blind curve.
I remain baffled where the people driving on Leroy Center road are hurrying to. The immediate neighborhood of the firestation is rural/residential where kids ride their bikes, people, dogs and ducks walk on the road. It connects to Brakeman Road, which then heads south into BFE. Maybe they are commuting from Cleveland, and still have the freeway mentality when they are driving there.
Anyway, I got off to a good start on my TT run. I was pretty easily maintaining 350-400W across the field since there was a slight tailwind at that point. I try to accelerate all the way to the first turn, but was running out of steam this week. Usually I hit the corner at about 25-27 mph, but was only at 23 mph. Chris who started about 10 minutes before me was on the return leg and was already rounding the corner just as I got there, so he was on a good time.
The white line on the road had been painted, apparently, and there was some sand down to protect the wet paint in the corner, and it had been scattered across the lane by traffic. I kept the bike straight up and down and moved my weight way over to negotiate the corner more like a bus than a bike.
I tried to pick up the pace up the climb, but was wilting a little bit. I managed to make a good effort over the top of the hill, but felt off the pace for a new personal best time for the season.
I didn't have much snap on the return leg and finished with only a 20:28, average power dropped to 300W, a meager 3W/kg. The weather conditions were pretty good for a fast time, too. It's pretty interesting to see how my week-on-week improvement reversed after my July race-fest.